The world premier of the new documentary video “Our People: The Lumbee” was April 6 on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
It was a standing-room-only audience of tribal officials, community members, students and others interested in Lumbee history and culture. The event took place in Old Main, the most historic building at the University which is at the heart of the tribe.
At 28 minutes, the video was produced by UNCP’s Native American Resource Center with funding from the University. It is the 4th educational video in a series on the eight state-recognized tribes of North Carolina.
Tribal leadership guided the content of the video, said Dr. Stan Knick, director, editor and producer of the video.
“The material in this series is for people who need to know and want to know more about the American Indians of this state,” Dr. Knick said. “This is the people’s video not mine.
“This video is not meant to be the last word or the last video about the Lumbee,” he continued. “A dozen other videos could have been made about the Lumbee, with other speakers and other topics.
“Many other historical and current issues could have been included,” Dr. Knick said. “Hundreds of other photographs could have been used, and the work of numerous artists could have been included.
“What it is, is a slice of time, a 28-minute snapshot, if you will, of a group of Lumbee speakers, of a part of the story of the Lumbee people,” he concluded. “It has been a blessing and a joy for me to work on this video.”
The documentary opens with a scene of the Lumbee River and follows with a series of speakers beginning and ending with Tribal Chair Jimmy Goins.
“I hope you all learn something valuable about the land of the Lumbee,” Goings said. “In the beginning, we were found along the banks of the Lumbee River and that’s where we will end.”
Cynthia Hunt, a tribal historian who works at Lumbee Legal Services, gave a history of the tribe and its quest for federal recognition followed by the Rev. Charles Locklear discussing Christian influences.
“The people who were church leaders were also leaders of the education movement,” Rev. Locklear said.
Dr. Linda Oxendine, former chair of UNCP’s American Indian Studies Department, listed core values of the tribe: (1) kinship, (2) spirituality, (3) shared history, (4) connection to the land and (5) education.
“Lumbees have used education as a way to move up not out,” Dr. Oxendine said.
Traditionalist Robert Carter was followed by Sunshine Costanzo, a UNCP student and Miss Indian N.C., and tribal administrators Alex Baker and Tammy Maynor.
Michael Clark, an architect for the tribe and UNCP and one of the video’s narrators, gave the video his endorsement.
“They got the message out about who we are and where we’re going for the local and greater communities to view,” Clark said.
Morgan Hunt, a former Miss UNCP and health educator for the tribe, said she enjoyed the video and wanted to see more.
“I hope this finds its way into the school systems and to young people,” Hunt said. “It’s difficult to put it all into 28 minutes, so I hope there is more to come.”
An army of community and University volunteers worked on the project. The video committee for the tribe consisted of Ruth Locklear, Ben Jacobs, Wanda K. Locklear and Robert Carter, Alex Baker and Cynthia Hunt.
Narration was provided by Michael Clark, and UNCP staff, Aubrey Swett, Becky Goins, Malcolm Jacobs and Barbara Collins. Photos were contributed from the collection of the late Elmer Hunt, Dr. David Oxendine, a UNCP faculty member, and Robert Ayers, UNCP photographer.
Music was provided by Bo Goins, and Southern Sun Singers.
Artists for the project included Herman and Loretta Oxendine, James Locklear and Gloria Tara Lowery. George Johnson with the Mass Communication Department served as co-producer.
Dr. Knick also thanked the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs members” Furnie Lambert, Larece Hunt and Garth Locklear, as well as Commission Chair Paul Brooks, Director Greg Richardson and Culture Committee member Nora Dial-Stanley for their support of the project.
Dr. Knick also thanked Drs Charles Harrington and William Gash of Academic Affairs for their support, including their assistance in funding the series.
“The University is honored to be able to play a role in the development of this documentary,” Dr. Harrington said. “The reference materials we have available to us in the Native American Resource Center and Museum, as well as the important relationship that we have with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, provided us with the critical resources we needed to successfully undertake this project.
“UNC Pembroke is also very fortunate to have the expertise and commitment of Dr. Stan Knick who did a wonderful job in directing and producing this documentary,” he continued. “I am convinced that this film will be a valuable educational resource for those wanting to learn more about the tribe, its history, and its very bright future.”
For more information or to purchase a copy of “Our People: The Lumbee,” please contact the Native American Resource Center at 910.521.6282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.