To the Editor,
Lumbee people have recently spoken up and demonstrated the power we possess in our tribal government. The Tribal Council recently attempted to rob our veterans of funding to purchase a vehicle to transport our nation’s veterans. As with their military service, Lumbee veterans fought for what was right and won. The Tribal Council goofed again when they approved a budget eliminating funding for Veterans Services and the Boys & Girls Clubs. Tribal members protested and again Tribal Council was forced to stop penalizing Lumbee people and was made to do the right thing.
In 2001, Lumbee people in the Lumbee Constitution approved their intentions for a tribal government. That government was founded on a Tribal Council of one-man, one-vote representation. Tribal Council for years has ignored that foundation.
The state of the Lumbee tribe today and over the past decade has been illegitimate, ineffective and indifferent. For these reasons, my writing as a Lumbee community advocate has become more aggressive over five years. People know my writings and the truths behind them. The church leaders of our community have continued to provide me guidance and to accept my requests for prayer in my efforts. God didn’t see fit to put me on one of the three branches of our tribal government. He maybe wanted me to provide leadership to our fourth branch of government, which is the public press and the body that keeps the public informed.
I will continue to inform the Lumbee public so that we can continue to speak up and demonstrate our power in our tribal government. Our tribal government has not been true to the will of our people. Over the next five months we can correct this failure in accountability.
Now is the time for our people to instruct Tribal Council to redistrict our tribal area to nine districts. In November, we can amend the Lumbee Constitution to return to our one-man, one-vote structure. We can elect nine Tribal Council members. Yes we can do 21 to 9 now.
Eric R. Locklear