2015 – Governor Pat McCrory proclaimed November as American Indian Heritage Month during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion. This year’s theme is Preserving, Living, and Sharing our Proud American Indian Heritage.
“I stand proud today with American Indian leaders from across the entire state and proclaim November American Indian Heritage Month in North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “I invite all North Carolinians to take the time to honor and observe our rich American Indian culture this month.”
Today there are more than 122,000 American Indians living in North Carolina. With the largest population east of the Mississippi River and eighth largest in the country, North Carolina is home to eight recognized Tribes: the Coharie, the Eastern Band of Cherokee, the Haliwa-Saponi, the Lumbee, the Meherrin, the Occaneechi Band of Saponi, the Sappony, and the Waccamaw-Siouan.
From the Qualla Boundary in the west to Ahoskie in the east, from Hollister near the Virginia border to Buckhead on the South Carolina border, North Carolina supports a strong and vibrant American Indian community. This community contributes to the state’s diversity and culture, commerce, agricultural development, medicinal discoveries and governmental institutions.
With a long-standing and historic government to government relationship, North Carolina continues to work and promote the enhancement of the quality of life and opportunities for the American Indian community. The first time American Indian Heritage Month was proclaimed in North Carolina was in 1990.
American Indian Heritage Month Celebration
It is no wonder that the 20th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh was named a “Top 20 Event” in 2015 by the Southeast Tourism Society. This free family-friendly festival took place on Saturday, November 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Members of all eight state-recognized tribes came from across North Carolina to participate in this exciting celebration.* Passionate about sharing their heritage, these musicians, dancers, craftspeople, storytellers and others provided many opportunities to learn about the state’s Indian culture, past and present.
A sampling of the day’s activities follows.
- Met craftspeople who made weapons, jewelry, pottery, beadwork, baskets, stone pipes, fishing and hunting tools, and more.
- Participants were able to weave a ribbonwork bookmark, go on a scavenger hunt, or play a game of traditional chunkey or corncob darts.
- Watched the world-renowned Warriors of AniKituhwa of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bring to life the Cherokee War dance and the Eagle Tail dance.
- Heard native storytellers share captivating tales.
- Learned about American Indian instruments, specifically flute and drum.
- Examined a longhouse model and a display of traditional housing to see how American Indians once lived.
- The eight state-recognized tribes are Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony and Waccamaw Siouan. For further information about the tribes, go to http://www.doa.state.nc.us/CIA/.
About the N.C. Museum of History
The N.C. Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 300,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
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