LUMBERTON — The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will hold its Christmas celebration and inauguration for Chairman Paul Brooks at 6 p.m. Monday at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center.
“This event is not about me,” said Brooks, who is the tribe’s fifth chairman. “This event is about the tribal members.”
Monday’s inaugural event does not include the swearing-in of Lumbee Tribal Council members. They will be sworn in next month.
This will be the second year in which Brooks, who just finished serving the last year of Purnell Swett’s three-year term as chairman and was elected to his first full three-year term in November, is holding what is being billed as the tribe’s “annual Christmas Party.” About 2,000 people attended last year’s event, according to tribal spokesman Alex Baker.
Baker said the event is not just a chance for tribal members to attend the inauguration of the tribe’s leader, but also a time for tribal members to engage in fellowship with one another and learn about all the services the tribe offers its members.
“We as a tribe look forward to what the chairman’s vision is for the next three years,” Baker said. “We encourage tribal members to come out and see their government at work.”
Brooks said he hopes tribal members will attend the event to learn what the tribe has accomplished over the past year — and where it is heading.
“Come out and learn about the programs and services the tribe offers,” Brooks said. “Even if (you’re) not receiving services now, find out what services are available, because you may need them in the future.”
Baker said the event will include booths providing information about services and programs provided by the tribe — including housing assistance — and how tribal members can access them.
“We want people to find out all about the good things the Lumbee Tribe does,” Baker said.
Those attending the event will also be treated to a free dinner featuring chicken bog and barbecue.