On Nov. 2, Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed November as American Indian Heritage Month to celebrate the eight state-recognized tribes: The Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony and Waccamaw Siouan.
Former President George H. W. Bush proclaimed the original National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990.
“Long before European explorers set foot on the North American continent, this great land has been cultivated and cherished by generations of American Indians," Bush said in the proclamation.
Since then, the month has continued to serve as an opportunity to honor the cultures and histories of American Indian tribes within North Carolina and across the country.
Pamela Cashwell, secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration, said North Carolina doesn’t need to wait for one month of the year to celebrate American Indian heritage and culture.
Despite this, she added that the month provides a chance to showcase the great cultures and art that stem out of American Indian communities.
“The month gives us the opportunity to be focused and reflective,” she said.
The DOA houses the Commission of Indian Affairs that provides programs and services for American Indians in North Carolina.
“The Commission has been around for 50 years now, and we work very closely with the eight state-recognized tribes in North Carolina as well as the four urban organizations that are located in the state,” she said.