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Nov. 18, 2015
HCC hosts seventh annual American Indian Heritage Month Celebration
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) hosted its seventh annual American Indian Heritage Month celebration, Nov. 10 at The Centre. Festivities included a free educational program. The event provided an opportunity to learn about American Indian culture and traditions.

The keynote speaker for the event was Chief of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe Dr. Brucie Ogletree Richardson. She discussed how American Indians identify themselves, how they elect tribal council members, what tribes are facing locally and nationally and the history of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School.

"Within our tribe, we have about 4,000 enrolled citizens," said Richardson. "In the state of North Carolina, there are eight tribes…we have the largest Indian population east of the Mississippi." All tribes and their urban organizations work with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.

Dr. Brucie Richardson was elected as the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe's first female chief in June of 2014. She graduated from the Haliwa Indian School in 1961, and is also a graduate of Nash Community College and North Carolina Wesleyan College. Dr. Ogletree went on to earn a master's degree, an educational specialist degree and a doctorate.

Richardson has been involved in numerous activities and conferences on the local, state and national levels. In August 2000, the Haliwa Indian School, which had been closed since 1969, reopened as a Tribal charter school, largely due to her efforts.

Special recognition was given to Mrs. Bernella DeLaMora, founder and immediate past HCC Board of Trustees Chair for her dedication and service to this event and the College. Mrs. DeLaMora was recently named the 2015 Trustee of the Year by the Rural Community College Alliance.

The main program was followed by demonstrations and vendors including:
  • Alvin Evans (woodwork/pipes)
  • Brian and Trina Lynch (silver jewelry)
  • David Lynch (bows and arrows)
  • Karen Lynch-Harley (arts and crafts)
Mills on Wheels provided American Indian cuisine samples of buffalo stew and fry bread.

This event was part of the HCC Lyceum Series of Special Events that will run throughout 2015-16. The public is invited and encouraged to participate in all events. Unless otherwise noted, guests attend at no charge and events will be held in The Centre. This event was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education PBI Formula Grant and the Halifax Community College Cultural Arts and Activities Student Funds.
Heritage Day
Pictured left to right: Dr. Ogletree Richardson, Chief of Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe and Mrs. Bernella DeLaMora, Past Chair HCC Board of Trustees
Heritage Day
Dancer of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe performed during the seventh annual American Indian Heritage Month celebration held on Nov. 10th at The Centre at HCC.
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239