Each November we at Women AdvaNCe celebrate Native American Heritage Month by soliciting articles written by North Carolina Native American women on issues such as culture, representation and MMIW. Since 2019 we have committed our organization to sharing untold stories of Native American women in our state and the issues they are facing that are largely underreported or not reported on at all.
November is not the only time of year we shed light on Native American issues, as year-round we commit ourselves to sharing information on North Carolina Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).
North Carolina has the largest concentration of Native Americans on the east coast and east of the Mississippi River. We are home to the Coharie, Meherrin, Lumbee, Tuscarora, Occaneechi Saponi, Waccamaw Siouan, Sappony, Haliwa Saponi and Eastern Band of Cherokee. Native people in our state are not homogenous. In fact their cultures vary and they speak a variety of languages including Tutelo, Tsalagi and Skarù:ręˀ.
Recently at Dorothea Dix Park, a powwow was held that united Native people from across North Carolina. According to this WRAL article about the event: “Dorothea Dix Park only recently began to acknowledge the Native American history behind its park.” A step in the right direction. The event drew a large crowd, which consisted of many dancers and spectators.
If you’d like to learn more about Native American culture in North Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of History is hosting its annual American Indian Heritage Celebration on Saturday, November 20th. This event will be online this year due to COVID-19. You will be able to register for live 2021 virtual workshops and view videos from in-person events in years past.
Here are some of our favorite articles we’ve published for Native American Heritage Month in 2019 and 2020:
Not Like the Indians on TV – Brittany Hunt, Lumbee
The American Indian Woman: A Gentle Warrior Walking in Two Worlds – Pamela Jacobs, Waccamaw Siouan
Reclaiming Cultural Ownership – Juanita Wilson, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Black Natives: Erasure by Neocolonialism – Aminah Ghaffar, Lumbee