Honoring American Indians in Sampson


By Chris Berendt - [email protected]



Chris Berendt/Sampson Independent Mayor Lew Starling presents a proclamation to Betty Lou Griffin, chairperson of the Richard Clinton Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, declaring November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Clinton.


By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

This month has been proclaimed by the City of Clinton as National American Indian Heritage Month, with several other Sampson towns following suit already and still more to come, a fitting honor as the county is home to one of North Carolina’s proudest tribes.

“Indians in America helped shape our nation through the hardships of survival, religious ceremonies, socially, as well as politically by their contributions,” said Betty Lou Griffin, chairperson of the Richard Clinton Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Coharie Indian Tribe is located primarily in Harnett and Sampson, descending from the aboriginal tribe of the Neusiok Indians. The Coharie Tribe has been recognized by the state of North Carolina since 1971, but ancestry to this area dates back hundreds of years.

In an effort to honor the Coharie and others, Griffin requested all Sampson County municipalities’ mayors proclaim November as National American Indian Heritage Month. The City Council unanimously obliged and, as part of its proclamation, city officials urged citizens to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

Starling presented Griffin with the proclamation during a recent City Council meeting.

According to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau numbers, 3.1 percent of Sampson’s population identified themselves as American Indian, trending higher than North Carolina’s 1.6 percent figure.

“Five of the eight municipalities have passed it, and the others have it on their agendas so we’re hoping that will be done,” Griffin stated during the Council meeting. “I think that would be wonderful for Sampson County if we could go on record joining the national level of support,to have 100 percent (local support) with our local chapter of Sampson County DAR.”

According to the city’s resolution, signed by Starling, “the history and culture of our great nation have been significantly influenced by American Indians and indigenous peoples; the contributions of American Indians have enhanced the freedom, prosperity and greatness of America today; and their customs and traditions are respected and celebrated as part of a rich legacy throughout the United States.”

Native American Awareness Week began in 1976 and recognition was expanded by Congress and approved by President George Bush in August 1990, designating the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month. In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month, community celebrations as well as numerous cultural, artistic, educational and historical activities have been planned.

Griffin said she is happy for the local support and hopes to see more in the weeks to come.

“I think it’s wonderful, since we have a native tribe and a population here,” she remarked. “This can show them our appreciation and recognition of them and their ancestors, and what they have done.”

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Chris Berendt/Sampson Independent Mayor Lew Starling presents a proclamation to Betty Lou Griffin, chairperson of the Richard Clinton Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, declaring November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Clinton.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_heritage.jpgChris Berendt/Sampson Independent Mayor Lew Starling presents a proclamation to Betty Lou Griffin, chairperson of the Richard Clinton Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, declaring November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Clinton.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus