RALEIGH – The N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs will facilitate a meeting of the U.S. Department of Education and regional Tribal Leaders on Aug. 5 in Pembroke. While Education officials have participated in a series of meetings with federally-recognized tribes across the United States, this event will mark the first time they seek input and feedback from state-recognized tribes and organizations.
“This is a significant achievement for North Carolina, because the needs of state-recognized American Indian students are sometimes different from those who reside on federal reservations,” said Greg Richardson, Executive Director of the Commission of Indian Affairs. “We appreciate that Department of Education officials recognize that they are not dealing with a sort of one-size-fits-all environment.”
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Indian Education Center of the Public Schools of Robeson County, 818 W. Third St., Pembroke.
Senior Education officials will seek feedback from North Carolina Tribal Leaders on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Department’s Plan of Actions for Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and any other federal education initiatives that impact American Indian and Alaska Native students.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, North Carolina’s American Indian population totals more than 100,000, giving the state the largest American Indian population east of the Mississippi and the seventh largest in the nation.
North Carolina has one federally-recognized Tribe – the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; and seven state-recognized Tribes, including the Coharie (Harnett and Sampson counties); Haliwa-Saponi (Halifax and Warren); Lumbee (Hoke, Robeson and Scotland); Meherrin (Hertford); Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation (Alamance and Orange); Sappony (Person); Waccamaw Siouan (Bladen and Columbus); and four Urban Organizations, including Cumberland County Association for Indian People; Guilford Native American Association; Metrolina Native American Association; and the Triangle Native American Society.
Source: N.C. Dept. of Administration