The Student Government Association voted 13 to 0 to fund a Native American event, “#NoMore”, honoring dead and missing indigenous women across the country. The event is scheduled for March 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the UC Lounge.
The Native American Student Organization (NASO) will host the event where they will raise awareness of the numerous indigenous women who have disappeared or died in the local area.
Three Native American women, all from different tribes, approached the board to ask SGA for funding towards their event.
They discussed how Native American women are victims to these crimes in other areas too. The American Indian and Alaska Native campaign issued an awareness on about 5,712 reports from victims but only 116 were cases. The Urban Indian Health Board released that there were 506 unique cases on the victims; 128 were missing, 280 were murdered and 98 were still unknown.
In last year alone, there were three women murdered in Lumberton. Rhonda Jones, Megan Oxendine and Christina Bennett were all Native American women murdered within a year of each other in Lumberton. The FBI investigated the deaths of each of these women, offered a $30,000 reward for information that would aid in the determining the circumstances around the three women’s deaths, according to ABC 11.
"We’ve increased our patrols in that area and increased our field contact,” Lumberton Police Chief Terry Parker said.
So far no arrests have been in connection with the three deaths and the circumstances surrounding the women’s deaths have not been released.
SGA senators agreed it was a good informative event to bring more awareness about Native American victims into UNCP’s campus.
The event consists of walking around campus, music, playing of drums, honor songs and food.
NASO members explained their use of the money is for the food for participants.
Vice President Jorden Revels asked for a motion on the decision to give NASO the funding for the event.
Senator Nikolaus Jones moved to give the funding to the NASO. NASO members were asked to leave during the discussion.
Before the voting proceeded, there were still some concerns with how much money was being asked for the event. NASO wanted $600 for funding the food.
The senators discussed allowing a more in-depth plan of how the funds would be used. For example, discussing what kind of food NASO was planning on having at the event so that the total matches what they’re asking for.
Some senators wanted to ask the NASO Advisor LeAnn Melvin to return so that they could get a clarification. Revels approved of this option and Melvin returned into the room.
Upon discussion, Melvin asked if the two members could also come back and further explain what they’re asking for.
The members returned and said their original amount was more than $600 but they wanted to stay within the guidelines of how much they could receive. NASO claimed all of the money would be used for the event.
If all of the funding was not going to be used, it needed to be returned to SGA. Due to NASO’s claim of asking for more, the senators took into consideration that the money would indeed be used.
NASO stepped out once more and Senator Simone Spencer moved to close discussion so that they could vote. The senators second the motion and the motion passed.
The senators voted with only two abstentions and NASO was funded $600 for their “#NoMore” event.