Tribe gets Smithsonian showcase

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has recently made significant strides in obtaining full federal recognition for the Lumbee People. The Tribe continues to work proactively to develop valuable partnerships on local, state, and federal levels. One such partnership is with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. It is my great privilege to announce to you that the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will be hosting Lumbee Days at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., from Sept 7 to Sept. 9, 2017.

These Lumbee Days are an unprecedented and monumental opportunity for the Lumbee people to narrate our own story to the broader public. Museum attendees from across the nation and all over the world will learn about our culture, history, traditions. Lumbee Days is about our way of life.

The three day-event will commence Thursday evening with a reception to welcome and thank attendees for their support of the Lumbee people. The reception is a wonderful opportunity for re-connecting and socializing while enjoying live entertainment from the talented Charly Lowry, a member of the Lumbee Tribe and contemporary Lumbee artist.

Friday and Saturday will provide additional opportunities to showcase the rich and vibrant culture of the Lumbee people. The museum will host a unique exhibit providing attendees the opportunity to walk through a visual timeline of the history of the Lumbee Tribe. The event will also showcase cultural performances consisting of traditional songs, dance, and flute playing, as well as entertainment by contemporary Lumbee artists and gospel groups. We hope attendees will likewise enjoy a short reenactment of “Strike at the Wind!”, which will be performed on both Friday and Saturday.

Lumbee artisans will be set up throughout the museum, displaying their artwork and crafts, sharing with others their significance in Lumbee culture. In addition, the Lumbee youth will be demonstrating various crafts, encouraging participation from attendees of all ages.

Some of our finest Lumbee culinary artists will add traditional flavor to Lumbee Days. For the reception, Barbara and W.J. Strickland will provide catering services. A Lumbee couple originally from Robeson County, the Stricklands have been in the D.C. area since 1972. The Stricklands were the first Native American food vendors sanctioned by the Smithsonian to serve on the National Mall.

Three local chefs, Eric Fuller Locklear of Fuller’s BBQ, Patrick Dial of Big Boys Kitchen, and Lester Locklear, program director of the Robeson Community College Culinary Arts program and owner of New South Catering, will join forces with award winning Navajo Chef Freddie Bitsoie, Mitsitam Cafe’s Executive Chef. These three chefs will be preparing traditional Lumbee dishes, using their own family recipes, on Friday and Saturday. The food will be available for sale from the beautiful Mitsitam Cafe at the museum throughout the Lumbee Days celebration.

For those whot cannot attend in person, we encourage you to join us online. The museum is live-streaming the events held on Friday, Sept. 8. The live webcast can be accessed at

We are humbled to have this opportunity to showcase the various talents and gifts of our Lumbee people. Lumbee Days will serve as a historic event for the Lumbee people and we are excited to share our culture with you and the entire country. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at this significant event.

Harvey Godwin is chairman of the Lumbee Tribe.

Harvey Godwin is chairman of the Lumbee Tribe.