North Carolina State Recognized Tribes and Organizations

Coharie Tribe, Sampson County

Members of the Coharie Tribe descended from the historical group known as the Neusiok Indians who lived along the Neuse River in the coastal area of North Carolina until the early 18th century. Today most Coharies live in one of four settlements, Holly Grove, New Bethel, Shiloh, and Antioch, in Harnett and Sampson counties. The Coharie Indian Tribe was recognized by the state of North Carolina in 1971. Tribal leaders have been working toward Federal recognition since 1980.

Cumberland County Association for Indian People

The Cumberland County Association for Indian People is a North Carolina state recognized American Indian Organization. The organization works to serve and promote the needs of Indian people living in Cumberland County. At this time the association does not host a Web site.

Guilford Native American Association

The Guilford Native American Association is a community association located in Guilford County, North Carolina. It is a North Carolina state recognized American Indian Organization. Incorporated in September of 1975 by local parents as an education advocacy group, the association has grown to encompass child care, employment, and age-based community programs. It is the oldest American Indian urban association in North Carolina and one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the United States. The association serves over 5,000 Native Americans in Guilford and the surrounding counties in their efforts to achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. The association sponsors an annual pow-wow and cultural festival and operates the Guilford Native American Art Gallery in Greensboro. At this time the association does not host a Web site.

Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, Halifax County

Members of the Haliwa-Saponi trace their roots to the Saponi Indains who lived in the upper coastal plain of North Carolina in the mid-17th century. Today most tribal members live in Halifax and Warren counties. The Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe was recognized by the state of North Carolina in 1965. Tribal leaders have been working toward Federal recognition since 1979.

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Robeson County

The Lumbee are the largest American Indian group in North Carolina with approximately 55,000 tribal members. They are descendants of an amalgam of many former tribes that were decimated by warfare and disease in the early 18th century. In a 1725 document, John Herbert, the Commissioner for Indian Affairs, recorded the “Saraws” (Cheraw), “Pedee” (Pee Dee), “Scavanos” (Scavanos), and “Wacomos” (Waccamaw) living in the area that is now Robeson County. It is likely these people are some of the ancestors of the modern-day Lumbee people. Today the Lumbee reside primarily in and around Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland, and Scotland counties. The Lumbee Tribe was recognized by the State of North Carolina in 1885 and they have been seeking federal recognition since 1888. In 1956 Congress passed the Lumbee Act which recognized the Lumbee people as American Indians.

Meherrin Indian Tribe, Hertford County

Meherrin means People of the Muddy Water. The Meherrin Indian tribe traces their roots back to the Iroquois Confederacy and likely moved south into the Virginia area at some time in prehistory, perhaps with the Tuscarora. In 1650 an Englishman named Edward Bland visited their village of Cowonchahawkon near present-day Emporia, Virginia. Expanding European settlement in Virginia forced the Meherrin Tribe to move south into Hertford County, North Carolina, around 1706. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the racial climate of North Carolina caused many Meherrin people to suppress their Indian identity. However, the tribe began to reconstitute itself in the 1970s and gained state recognition in 1986. Today they continue to seek Federal recognition.

Metrolina Native American Association, Mecklenburg County

The Metrolina Native American Association is an inter-tribal association dedicated to serving the needs of American Indians living in the ten-county area know as Metrolina. This includes Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties. The association was established in 1976 and is one of four state recognized Urban Indian Centers. The organization sponsors an annual Pow-wow in the Charlotte area to share American Indian culture with the community.

Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Alamance County

The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation trace their roots to the Saponi Indians who lived in the Piedmont of North Carolina and Virginia during prehistoric times. More specifically the modern tribe is related to the Saponi, Occaneechi, Eno, Tutelo, and other people who joined together into a single community under a 1713 treaty with the Colony of Virginia. The Saponi Confederation lived in fortified settlements in Virginia and North Carolina until the 1750s. In 2002, the Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation began an ambitious program to buy back their ancestral lands in Alamance County, North Carolina. RECOGNITION??

Sappony Tribe, Person County

The Indian town of Monassukapanough, located in Virginia near the James River, is believed to have been the ancestral town of the Sappony. In the middle of the 17th century, when European settlement was expanding across Virginia, the Sappony lived near present-day Clarksville, Virginia, and were important participants in the southern fur trade. They acted as middlemen between the Catawbas and the Virginians. In the early 18th century the Sappony moved south to lands along the Meherrin River in Brunswick County, North Carolina. In 1911 the State of North Carolina recognized the Sappony as an independent tribe. The State of Virginia followed suit in 1913. Today High Plains Indian Settlement is the home of the Sappony.

Triangle Native American Society, Wake County

The Triangle Native American Society (TNAS) is a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1984. The organization is dedicated to serving the economic, educational, and cultural needs of American Indians living in the greater Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham area. Members of TNAS collaborate with many other state and local agencies to promote education, health and well-being, business development as well as cultural activities including Indian Heritage Month celebrations and the annual TNAS pow-wow.

Waccamaw Siouan Development Association, Columbus County

Waccamaw Siouan Indians are a North Carolina state recognized tribe located predominantly in Bladen and Columbus counties in the communities of St. James, Buckhead, and Council. The Waccamaw Siouan Tribe, Inc. was founded in 1971 and incorporated with the State of North Carolina in 1972. The tribe works to improve the social, economic, educational, and general welfare of its people and to promote the image of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe both in North Carolina and the United States.

The Waccamaw Siouan tribal homeland is situated on the edge of Green Swamp about 37 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, and seven miles from Lake Waccamaw. According to Waccamaw Siouan oral tradition, Lake Waccamaw was created thousands of years ago when an immense meteor appeared in the night sky and hurtled toward earth. The meteor struck the earth. Water from surrounding swamps and rivers flowed into the crater and cooled it, creating Lake Waccamaw. The Waccamaw Siouan call themselves “People of the Falling Star.”