August 25, 2013
To the Editor
On Aug. 23, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Supreme Court was petitioned to dissolve the “illegitimate and hostile” Tribal Council. The petition cites the Tribal Council as being “illegitimate” and “hostile” because of intentionally violating the Lumbee Constitution for more than a decade. The petition requests a hearing before Friday..
I have completed hundreds of hours of talking with folks and researching how 21 districts became 14 districts. I believe that the earliest tribal “leaders” intentionally collapsed districts to create multi-member districts, thus giving more voting power to districts with more than one member. This was and is illegal.
These Lumbee “leaders” made bargains for self-interest and dumped the entire tribe into Drowning Creek. I think it is time we put the 21 on one boat and sell them down the river.
At the Supreme Court hearing, the five judges need to know whether or not Lumbee people are tired of a dysfunctional tribal government. Respecting a court of law, I think a couple of hundred Lumbees showing up with signs in silent protest of the “illegitimate and hostile” tribal government might send that message.
All tribal elders and veterans need to be present at the Supreme Court hearing because these populations of our tribe have been harmed the greatest by the spiteful work of the Tribal Council. The “30-something generation” and parents of our “boys and girls” need to come out as well. It’s time to end suffering for all Lumbees.
It has also been proposed that upon dissolving the Tribal Council, the November 2013 tribal election will become an election for tribal members to decide whether or not to amend the Lumbee Constitution. Approving this amendment would reduce the 21 member tribal council down to nine districts and nine members.
Upon tribal members adopting this Lumbee Constitution amendment, it has been proposed that before April 1, 2014, a special tribal election will be held to elect the new nine council members.
I believe by dissolving the “illegitimate and hostile” Tribal Council, the Lumbee tribe will be respecting our past and our people while saving our future.
Eric R. Locklear