Open Letter to UNCP’s Community, County, Region and State American Indian Students, Faculty and Staff Becoming Extinct at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke by Wise Eagle

Normally we don’t post unsigned post. However, we have received several copies of this one from various friends and thought we’d throw it out for your review and comment.  thanks

 It appears that Native American Indian Students, Faculty and Staff are becoming extinct at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. It appears that under the leadership of Chancellor Kyle Carter and his key administrative staff that there is a conscious or unconscious effort to decrease the population of Native Students, Faculty and Staff at our historical American Indian Institution.
            The American Indian student population has steadily declined at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke since Dr. Carter became Chancellor. I ask you to visit UNCP during the lunch hour. Walk across the campus and see the small number of American Indian students and faculty you meet. It is difficult to locate a dozen American Indian students in a one hour walk across UNCP Campus during the lunch hour. It appears that there are more Chinese students than Native American Indian Students enrolled at UNCP. However, you see lots of Indian custodial staff, maintenance staff, cafeteria staff and other non-professional workers.
            The low enrollment numbers of Native American Students at UNCP is very alarming since the University sits in the middle of the Lumbee Indian Nation with more than 100,000 Lumbee Indians in North Carolina and across our Nation. It is also more alarming since we also have 11 other federal and state recognized Indian Tribes and Organizations in NC according to the NC Commission of Indian Affair’ Web Site.
            More than 22 key American Indians faculty and staff have left the University of North Carolina at Pembroke since Dr. Carter has become Chancellor about three years ago. It appears that many of them left employment at UNCP because they were fired, demoted, run off, rifted, retired or were harassed until they resigned. Chancellor Carter did not personally terminate all 22 of the American Indian Faculty and Staff; however, he allowed it to happen and he was a willing participant. Specific names of victims and job titles will be elaborated upon later in this paper.
It appears that UNCP does not have any full time American Indian Faculty Members from any of the other 11 NC Indian Tribes and Organizations employed at UNCP.
            The above terminations and loss of employment of American Indians under Chancellor Carter’s tenure are very similar to the Bible story of the crucifixion of Jesus. Governor Pontius Pilate did not crucify Jesus but he was a willing participant and consented to allowing Jesus to be crucified.
            There are more than 330 full time teaching faculty members employed at UNCP according to the facts and figures on UNCP’s web site. However, there are fewer than 10 American Indian full time teaching faculty members. It appears that there are only 5 American Indians who are tenured faculty professors at UNCP.
The Lumbee Indians and other Indian Tribes in North Carolina have more professional and licensed Indian people than any other Native American Indian Tribe in the U.S. This is true because we have had a University in close proximity to our people for more than 125 years. We have more doctors, lawyers, and professional people than any other Native Tribe in America.
I have personally known dozens of well qualified American Indians in the recent past who applied for positions at UNCP and did not get the courtesy of an interview who had excellent professional credentials and vast amounts of experience.
However, if you look at the employment numbers in the maintenance department, cafeteria workers, custodians and secretaries we have our fair share. These are honorable jobs and our people appreciate them. However, our Native American People are qualified and certified to hold and perform other jobs or position of higher responsibility at UNCP.
             One area of great concern is UNCP’s American Indian Studies Department. According to UNCP’s AIS Web Site there are 34 courses offered through the American Indian Studies Department and other departments across UNCP Campus. According to the course listings in the AIS Department there are only two courses offered that are specific to our Lumbee Indian People’s history, culture or heritage. It also appears that only one course is taught by a Native American Indian.
            It is very discouraging, demoralizing and an insult to our professional American Indian People when one learns that American Indians are not allowed to teach their own history, culture and heritage at UNCP – a Historical Native American Institution.
            The above situations and examples appear to be an attempt at the De-Indianization of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. It is sad and tragic when an ethnic group of people cannot teach their own history, culture and heritage courses.
It is known and taught in all elementary sociology and anthropology courses that people look at life and relate to the world from their own ethnocentric perspective. One can only wonder if the Indian Studies Courses at UNCP are being presented and taught from a biased European ethnocentric point of view. We all know how stereotyped American History is toward American Indians not to mention the “Cowboys and Indian Movies.”
It also appears that Chancellor Carter is not making proper progress to address the educational, economic and social problems which face American Indian people in our communities across N.C. This can also be said for the black and white populations in our county and region in a number of areas which affect the quality of life for all people.
UNCP is not sensitive to the historic mission of our founding fathers for our educational university. The original Indian Normal School was founded in 1887 by American Indian People to educate and train American Indian Teachers to educate our Indian students and people. Our Chancellor and his administrative staff do not appear to be respectful or appreciative of the proud culture and heritage of our Native American Indian People in our community, county, region, state and nation
            The focus of this article is in special reference to the American Indian Population at UNCP but it has the same significant implications for all the people and races of our community, county, region, state and nation. At UNCP our local and regional students, faculty and staff are being denied opportunities in student enrollment, faculty and staff employment, and advancement opportunities to make room for outsiders who do not have any vested interest in our community, region or people. How many UNCP faculty or administrators do you know who live in our communities in Robeson County?
            When an institution of higher learning is located in a community there should be positive improvements in many areas for the community, county, region, state and nation. However, it appears that the University of North Carolina at Pembroke has not greatly contributed to the educational, economic, social, prosperity or racial harmony one would envision for our people and area.
            It appears that the School of Education has failed our community, county, region and state in its efforts to properly train teachers to educate our children and adult population. American Indian Student’s test scores in reading, math and all other standardized tests are at the bottom in our state and nation.  Black and white students test scores and end of grade test are also well below the state and national averages.
One perfect example of this is the December 2012 REPORT TO THE NC STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION by the State Advisory Council on Indian Education. This study revealed that American Indian Students in grades 3-8 are reading at only a 55% proficiency level; black students are only reading at a 48% proficiency level and white students are only reading at a 72% proficiency level.
Has UNCP’s School of Education studied the above report or tried to find any solutions as to why the students in Robeson County and our region are performing at such low levels in reading and math? Has any corrective measures been set in place to try to remedy these low performance indicators which were identified in the above study?
      The School of Education at UNCP also received poor ratings from the National Council on Teacher Quality as reported by the Fayetteville Observer on June 22, 2013. According to the news article the undergraduate elementary education program at UNCP’s School of Education received a poor evaluation. It not did not receive a single star on the review for the preparation of elementary teachers for the classroom..
        It appears that the School of Business is also failing our community, county, region and state because it has not provided leadership, training, business assistance, and opportunities for Robeson County, our region and the State of North Carolina. The non-college graduate population of our county has unemployment rates which probably exceed 50% among the Indian and black residents of Robeson County.
    It is past time for Chancellor Carter to stop giving lip service to making improvements, increasing enrollment and providing greater educational opportunities for our American Indian Students at UNCP. He continues to allow the Native American Indian Student enrollment to decline while recruiting students from China, other countries, and other states. He talks a good show while the student achievement scores in all grades and all categories in our public schools continue to decrease in our county, region and state. Our University also has a high dropout rate each year for students enrolled at UNCP for all races.
Local American Indians faculty and staff (and other races) appear to be driven away from UNCP so that the Chancellor can employ his friends or friends of recently hired administrators from other areas and states. Faithful employees who were employed before Chancellor Carter arrived do not seem to be given credit or consideration for their years of work and dedication to UNCP when jobs and promotions are available.
One has to ponder if Chancellor Carter was appointed to be Chancellor by Erskin Bowles to pave the way to close UNCP as a University of Higher Education. There was talk by the NC Legislature a couple of years ago when budget cuts were being discussed about the possibility of closing, UNCP, Elizabeth State and Fayetteville State Universities.
In reference to budget cuts for UNCP it seems ironic that Chancellor Carter was quoted in the Robesonian Newspaper a couple of days ago about making recommendations for dramatic cuts at UNCP. His proposed plan was to “eliminate 36 positions; six academic departments to be consolidated or reorganized; and four programs are being considered for possible curtailment or elimination, including Physics, Theatre, Music Education and Art Education.
The above proposal appears to be a drastic and tragic undertaking at a Historic American Indian University without consulting with key community educational leaders, key political leaders, our elected legislative delegation, our school superintendents in our region, and significant others. It seems as if Chancellor Carter has embarked on a dangerous, controversial and destructive mission at UNCP to destroy significant academic programs, academic departments, and fire 36 key faculty and staff members at UNCP.
This appears to be an unwise and hasty endeavor because it would undermine the progress and efforts of thousands of educational advocates and community leaders who have been trying to build a quality university of excellence for more than 125 years. This seems to be especially reckless and short sighted in light of the fact that Dr. Kyle Carter has only been Chancellor of UNCP for about 3 years. His whole key administrative staff is all newly hired administrators who have little knowledge of the political dynamics of our university, the community or region.
It appears that Chancellor Carter needs to learn how to apply better collegiate leadership skills, hire and promote administrative staff from the ranks of UNCP Faculty, hire and promote qualified people with a vested interest and concern for UNCP and make sure all students, faculty and staff of all races are treated with respect and dignity.
Where are our UNCP Lawyers and Equal Employee Opportunities Representatives when it appears that injustices are occurring?
  I ask you to consider the above information and make an effort to help improve our great University of North at Pembroke. Progress and greatness comes when a people with vision, passion and dedication endeavor to make themselves and the next 7 generations a greater and more enlightened people.
   I look forward to reading you comments and reactions to the above article on Facebook and other social media.
Note: The following American Indian Faculty and Staff have left employment at UNCP since Dr. Kyle Carter became Chancellor.
Dr. Reginald Oxendine Sr. – Assistant Professor
Dr. Reggie Oxendine Jr. – Director of Technology SOE
Dr. Dianne Jones Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dr. Billie Jo Hunt Harrington – Director of Assessment
Jackie Clark – Vice Chancellor Enrollment
Dr. Burney Burnett  – Vice Chancellor for University & Community Relations – Demoted
Teresa Oxendine – Director of Donor Relations
Alisa S. Oxendine – Director of Collegiate Development
Larry Jacobs – Internal Auditor
Shelia Brayboy – HCOP (Health Careers Opportunity Program) Director
B. J. Graham – Assistant Professor of Nursing
Symphony Oxendine  – Associate Director of Office of Student Life
Cathy Hunt  – Librarian School of Education
Mary Graham – Computer Analyst
Ron Bullard  – UNCP Postmaster
Sharon Locklear – Executive Secretary to Provost
Warren Love – Married to Indian – Director of Media Services


We are very aware that we have had many names in our storied 128 years of history since we were first designated CROATAN INDIANS by the State of North Carolina in 1885. We use the name “Lumbee” advisedly and mostly because it is currently our legal name: We like a tribal name that is geographic in nature and has a nice tone to it. Lumbee sounds o.k. What do you think?
With this in mind, we have decided to kick off a discussion about the most influential Indians in our communities over the last 128 years, or since we were first designated “Croatan” in 1885. Below is our INITIAL list of 5. Let us know how you feel about it. The dialogue will result, hopefully, in a book entitled LUMBEE LUMINARIES by the Center for Lumbee Studies. The initial volume will consist of the 25 most influential Lumbee. Stay tuned. The list of “most influential Lumbee” is reserved for Lumbee who are deceased, thereby taking politics out of the equation.

The first choice, of course, is:

1. HENRY BERRY LOWRY. (1846 – 1872 (?) The Civil War era hero gave us our standing, mostly, before unforgiving neighbors at that particular time. Lowry was fearless, enterprising and insistent upon being treated as a man of substance as God intended it to be so for all of us, no matter what our ethnic background. We count Henry Berry Lowry as a Lumbee although he is always referred to by local historians and story tellers of the time as “one-half Tuscarora.” By the way, We have a book ready for publication. It is named A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Looking for Henry Berry Lowry. Henry Berry disappeared from public view in Robeson County in 1872, leaving the policy makers without a dead body to send to a demon’s hell. He survived, we surmise, leaving Robeson County for possibly New Mexico or Tennessee. The mystery surrounding his persona makes him even more exciting and fit for hero worship.

2. JOE BROOKS. (1905 – 1980) often traveled to Washington, D.C. to carry the messages and hopes of the local Indians. If he had had his say so about the matter we probably would have been designated as Siouan Indians of Robeson County but local Indians led, in part, by Rev. D.F. Lowry won the battle of names by having us legally tagged as Lumbee by the state in 1953 and the federal government in 1956. Brooks persevered in the “Indian” business until he was largely discredited by the then Indian contingent around Pembroke. Brooks had his hand in many endeavors, including the establishment of the Pembroke Farms and Red Banks Farming cooperatives for local Indians and the work that resulted in designating 22 of 209 tested as one-half or more Indian blood in 1936. Brooks worked diligently and tirelessly for federal recognition, and probably came closer than any one leader has to date in de-mystifying the Washington lawmaker’s den.

3. H. H. LOWRY (1859 – 1936) was not catholic enough in outreach for some folks and that is a primary reason why he makes the list as one of the 5 most influential Lumbee. Lowry, the older brother of Rev. D. F. Lowry, was the main instigator for establishing a religious order named the Lumbee Conference or the Lumber River Conference of the Holiness Methodist Church, setting the Lumbee apart from the other races, thereby helping us refine and maintain our identity as a separate race of people. The conference continues to be kind of introspective, apart from other denominations, always maintaining i’s identify as the “Indian” conference whether others like it or not. Lowry was expelled from the Methodist Episcopal Church mostly because he was successful in preserving the local Indian Methodist as a separate ethnic group and denomination. The conference continues today with ten churches. Lowry is still revered by those who know the real story behind the “Indian” conference.

4. LEW (is) RANDOLPH BARTON (1918 – 1999) makes the list because of his mighty pen. Lew Barton began writing publicly around 1935 when the Indians of Robeson County were involved in a kind of internecine feud between what came to be known as the Siouan Indians and the remnant of today’s Lumbee Indians. Barton helped elucidate matters and spent a lot of time explaining what it meant to be an Indian of Robeson county and beyond. Two books stand out. One was a book entitled ISSUE, the story of a Robeson County Indian serialized in the Robesonian newspaper in 1954 and THE MOST IRONIC STORY IN AMERICAN HISTORY published in 1967. Barton was also a poet and political and cultural agitator. His article, entitled “the DeIndianization of Pembroke State University” was the rallying cry for the Movement to Save Old Main in 1972. Barton was fierce in speaking (or mostly writing) his mind. My disclaimer is the fact that he is also the father of this writer.

5. HELEN MAYNOR SCHEIRBECK (1935 – 2010) was a child of Pembroke, and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lacy Maynor. Ms. Maynor (Scheirback) began her career working for the stalwart democrat, Senator Sam Ervin, and lived out her life mostly in the Washington, D.C. area where she spearheaded many national initiatives, helping establish the Lumbee caucus in the power corridor of Washington, D.C. in its infancy and parlaying her national reputation as a political and cultural force for the Lumbee nationally. Helen Scheirbeck received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 2009 Spring Commencement ceremony at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was touted at the prestigious event as “one of the 20th Century’s most significant Indian leaders.” We certainly concur with that statement of fact. Dr. Maynor-Scheirbeck was an early organizer of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and earlier enjoyed a long career working for national Indian causes, and championing the Lumbee cause specifically throughout her illustrious career.

What do you think? As noted earlier we hope eventually to publish a book entitled Lumbee Luminaries, maybe showcasing the 25 most influential Lumbee. We need your help.

The Center for Lumbee Studies, Inc. has received it’s 501 (3) c tax exempt status!!

The Center for Lumbee Studies, Inc. has received it’s 501 (3) c tax exempt status.  We are eligible to pursue funding from several sources, especially funding that is available to
non-profit corporations via donations, grants and governmental and public funding of various kinds.

Contact us at

The Center for Lumbee Studies

PO Box 1075

Pembroke, NC 28372


4-year-old Juddie Rivers Malcolm is a real trooper!

Even through cancer, 4-year-old Juddie Rivers Malcolm is a real trooper

Rivers Malcolm checks out his newly acquired handcuffs after he was sworn in as an honorary state trooper at Linda’s Restaurant in Pembroke on Friday

 By Ali Rockett Staff writer
Story PhotoPEMBROKE Juddie Rivers Malcolm stood grinning on a chair, his right hand raised high in the air.

“I do!” he said.

And with that, the 4-year-old became the newest – and most certainly the youngest – Highway Patrol trooper in North Carolina on Friday.

The packed crowd watching at Linda’s Restaurant erupted in cheers. He was now officially a man in uniform, just like the troopers whose hearts he had touched when they first met him three months ago.

It was at the same restaurant. Retired Sgt. Michael Chavis was having lunch.

“At the time, he didn’t have any hair,” Chavis said. “He had just gotten out of the hospital. He was going from table to table, just lighting them up.”

A group of officers walked into the restaurant, and Rivers’ eyes widened.

“The thing about this young’un is this: He’s been hospitalized 50 times,” Chavis said. “Somebody forgot to tell him to be upset. He’s always smiling. He’s always happy. He’s such an inspiration to so many people. He’s such a blessing to this community.”

Rivers was diagnosed in September 2010 with Wilms’ tumor, a type of rare childhood cancer found in the kidneys. His father, Joshua Malcolm, said the cancer had metastasized to Rivers’ lungs. He has relapsed twice, most recently in December. This spring, he underwent an aggressive chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant.

That was when Rivers met Chavis.

“I said to myself, this boy is a trooper,” Chavis said.

Rivers is cancer-free now, his father said, and doctors will do another checkup in July to determine whether the latest rounds of therapy were successful.

But Friday, no one in the restaurant would have known from the boy’s smile what he’s been through.

He was dressed in a tan button-up shirt with authentic trooper patches and a plastic badge. He wore black slacks, cowboy boots and a trooper’s hat. A final touch – a pair of shiny handcuffs.

Superior Court Judge Greg Bell administered the oath. And Sgt. Ardeen Hunt presented his newest recruit a plaque that certified Rivers as call No. 759 with Troop B, District 7, the division that patrols Robeson County.

“This young man will always be part of Troop B,” Hunt said. “He doesn’t know it, but he just got 26 more family members today.”

After the ceremony, Rivers sat down to eat with six fellow troopers. Next Saturday, he will ride with them in the Lumbee Homecoming parade in Pembroke.

The boy’s father sat a few tables away.

“He’s like a hog in the mud,” Malcolm said. “He doesn’t know any of those guys. What makes the connection is that they’re all dressed alike.”

Malcolm, who is general counsel for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, said his son spent 50 nights in the hospital in 2012. The family often commutes daily to Chapel Hill so that Rivers can be near his family during treatments.

“We want him to be home,” Malcolm said.

That’s why they chose to celebrate at Linda’s.

“He’s special to a lot of people here,” Malcolm said. “You can’t go through this alone.”

reprint from


Julian T. Pierce Memorial Art Dinner

LET’S TALK by bruce barton

WELCOME!! It is good to be up and about again after some down time, not always of our own making. Circumstances sometimes get in the way in spite of themselves and us. Enough said about aggravations! What I would like to do in this space is to examine some matters of interest to the Lumbee community and their friends and, yes, distracters. And I would like to hear from you, in turn. I do intend to sign my real name although you may choose to use another moniker. That’s up to the individual but we only ask for common sense to prevail and that we not label each other anything other than our real name and gender. We will monitor for unnecessary cussing and MEANSPIRITED backbiting and ask you to do the same.

As a few of you might remember, I was previously the editor and founder of the Carolina Indian Voice newspaper. I mostly operated the newspaper until the mid nineteen eighties and was followed by my sister, Connee Barton Brayboy, who kept it afloat until 2005 when she retired. Between the two of us, the Carolina Indian Voice published a weekly newspaper for 32 years of continuous publication. We missed a lot of the computer age and printed the newspaper the old fashioned way, a word at the time with a quirky justifier that caused most of the Barton’s to cuss uproariously until we learned better at the feet of Jesus. The newspaper ran from 1973 until 2005. The Indian Voice has a wonderful archive that will eventually be indexed, organized, and shared, with those who might have an interest in the extensive files.

Some possible topics to examine …

We first approached UNC-Pembroke about the need for a cultural consultant in 2009 and were slapped down mostly by a hand full of Indians on campus. It reminded this blogger anew that others do not always inflict all of our wounds outside the camp. Sometimes Indians shoot themselves in the psychic foot. We have been mostly killing one another since being discovered on the banks of the Lumbee in the 1700s. This is a favorite topic of mine: how we mostly hurt ourselves and turn inward on our young. It is a psychological nightmare that begs for answers.

I have also finished a massive tome since I last communicated with you. The name of the book is entitled A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Looking for Henry Berry Lowry. It tells about what I discovered as I went looking for Henry Berry Lowry after he disappeared from the local scene in 1872. I always believed that he went away to, maybe, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi or even out West to strange and provocative places such as “Mexico.” I found out a lot more than I knew as I pursued the elusive Lowry. I plan to share some of the book, and findings, with you in weeks and months ahead.

Genealogy is also an interest of mine and I have attempted to unravel some of our “Indian” families for a lifetime. I have enjoyed interacting with my fellow Barton’s as long as I can remember. All “Indian” Barton’s, as far as I know, emanate from a white man named Charles E. Barton from the New England state of Maine and Elizabeth Cumbo, a local Indian lass from the Prospect community. Charles E. Barton remains a bit of a mystery.

I believe the local Indian people are very, very intelligent generally and have a great track record in the larger Indian world. For instance, when the district manager of Indian housing from HUD recently retired he said, in part, that the Lumbee Tribe had built more houses, and rehabilitated more of the same, than probably any other tribe around. You would never believe that fact by all of the local finger pointing and name calling mostly within the Lumbee camp.

How do we manage ourselves? The Lumbee Tribal members have survived but have a long ways to go to master self-government. I am confident, though, that we will learn how to manage ourselves and our assets for the betterment of all of us … in time. In the meantime, get involved, attend meetings, and share your experiences with those you have chosen to represent you. If they do not please you then, of course, you should vote them out of office and try another makeup of councilmen (and councilwomen too!).

And lots of other ideas and themes await us too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am looking forward to this great adventure in democracy and debate.

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