Did you know that North Carolina is home to the second largest population of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River?
We’re home to the:
- Occaneechi Saponi
- Waccamaw Siouan
- Various bands of Tuscarora
- Eastern Band of Cherokee
- Haliwa Saponi
Our people populate every major city hub in our state and hold positions of leadership throughout.
We number over 100,000 and live from Murphy to Manteo.
If you’re in Greensboro, you’ll find the Occaneechi Saponi people in Alamance or Caswell counties.
If you’re in Wilmington, you’ll find the Waccamaw Siouan in Columbus County and the Tuscarora in New Hanover County.
If you’re in Raleigh/Durham, you’ll find the Sappony just north of you, and old Tuscarora village sites right outside the county lines.
Our people are doctors, lawyers, dentists, business owners, carpenters, painters, beaders, traditional dancers, nonprofit leaders and more!
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.
Please don’t call us Pocahontas – we’re more than stereotypes.
We come in a spectrum of phenotypes, hair textures, lifestyles, languages, ideals, and religious beliefs. Most of us do not look like the Natives in movie. (But many of them aren’t Native at all. Many of those actors are Italian).
Yes, the impact of colonization and early conquest still impacts our people today, but make no mistake — WE’RE STILL HERE!
We hope you’ll celebrate Native American Heritage Month with us during the month of November as we share knowledge about North Carolina tribes.
We’re grateful you’re here!
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A Moment in NC Native American History