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DHHS Holds its First Native American Heritage Month Celebration

Nakaya Leviner dances while Kaya Littleturtle at the podium performs a native song.

Nakaya Leviner dances while Kaya Littleturtle at the podium performs a native song.

Nov. 21, 2019 – DHHS held its first-ever Native American Heritage Month event on Nov. 20 featuring members of the Lumbee tribe from Robeson County who were dressed in full regalia and provided native singing, dancing and storytelling.

Along with DHHS staff, Secretary Mandy Cohen was joined by NC Department of Administration Commission of Indian Affairs Executive Director Greg Richardson, Quinn West Godwin of Governor Roy Cooper's Office and David Locklear, Deputy Director of Economic and Family Services at the Division of Services and the organizer of the event.

“I’m so proud that we are recognizing our fellow employees and the people that we serve,” Secretary Cohen said, noting this was the first time the Department was holding such an even commemorating Native American Heritage Month.

From left to right, Godwin, Locklear, Secretary Cohen and Richardson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right, Godwin, Locklear, Secretary Cohen and Richardson.

More than 122,000 North Carolinians identify as American Indian, representing the largest American Indian population east of the Mississippi River and the eighth largest American Indian population in the U.S.

During the event Godwin read the proclamation declaring November American Indian Heritage Month in NC. The proclamation encourages North Carolinians “to learn more about the rich history of American Indian culture in our state and commit to preserve American Indian heritage and traditions for generations to come.”

In the tradition of Native American storytelling, Kat Littleturtle tells the audience a story about a woman who led a tribe to a battle victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the tradition of Native American storytelling, Kat Littleturtle tells the audience a story about a woman who led a tribe to a battle victory.

A few ways to learn more about the Native American experience: