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Catawba Nation And Lumbee Tribe Gather To Celebrate New Relationship Between Nations

Source: WBTW

The Catawba Nation and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina signed a landmark agreement that represents a new relationship between the two nations. On June 20th, members of the two nations gathered at the Lumbee Tribe Cultural Center in Robeson County, North Carolina to sign a Government-to-Government Principles of Agreement, which represents the combined effort of the two tribes to protect and support one another. In the words of Chief Brian Harris of the Catawba Nation “This is a symbol of our efforts to move beyond the mistakes of the past and to forge a new partnership based on trust, respect, and collaboration,”

With the Lumbee Tribe having a history dating back 12,000 years and the Catawba Nation’s history going back over 6,000 years the two nations have a strong and rich history. The Lumbee Tribe has territory in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland, and Scotland Counties in North Carolina and the Catawba nation territories include areas in Piedmont, South Carolina as well as areas in North Carolina and Virginia.

The historic agreement was marked with a celebration between the two nations. The festivities that followed the landmark agreement embraced the cultures of each nation and included a traditional fire ceremony and the presentation of colors.

With the Catawba Nation having a population over 15,000 and the Lumbee Tribe being made up of about 55 thousand people this signifies a grand union that leaders hope will solidify the prosperity of both nations for many generations. Through their joint efforts the two nations aim to tackle issues that affect them such as the Catawba Nations Restoration Act or the Lumbee Tribe’s efforts to gain full recognition as Lumbee people.  

A Chairman from the Lumbee Tribe John Lowery shared encouraging words during the celebration, “This is a historical day and I know it is one that our ancestors are looking down and they’re smiling… We have made them proud today”. Lowery expressed what a wonderful day it is to welcome “brothers and sisters from the Catawba Nation”.

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