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News Release

Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

On May 19, the Lumbee Tribal Council voted to approve the creation of a Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources within the Lumbee Tribal Government. This new department will assist Lumbee producers in food certifications, access of markets, and knowledge of opportunities available through state and federal agencies. Lumbee Tribal Chairman John L. Lowery said it is a historic moment for Lumbee farmers. “As this government moves forward, this new department will have the opportunity to strategically work to assist those who ensure we have food on our table and also work to protect the natural resources of our tribal lands,” said Lowery.

Programs regarding farming, ranching, natural resources, conservation, food safety, food security, and food sovereignty will fall under the umbrella of the new department. Tribal Councilwoman Wendy Moore said farmers are the life blood of Lumbee communities. Moore is the Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee for the Tribal Council. “I am proud to be part of this moment as the Tribe takes a step forward in our agriculture and natural resource work. As indigenous People, we were placed here to be good stewards of Mother Earth, so this is a step in the right direction. ” said Moore.

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During his campaign, Chairman Lowery said he would appoint a temporary Advisory Committee to look at the Agriculture sector and how the Lumbee Tribe could assist farmers and ranchers.

Eddie Moore, from the Prospect Community, agreed to chair the temporary committee. Mr. Moore pulled together a coalition of farmers representing diverse areas of agriculture production, which ranged from cattle to row crops, aquaculture to regular produce as well as organic farming. The farmers discussed the strengths and challenges that Lumbee farmers face. One of the recommendations from this Advisory Committee was the creation of a Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The mission statement of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is “to steward Lumbee lands and waters by honoring our ancestors and their traditions, strengthening our existing farm community by advocating for Lumbee agricultural opportunities and promoting tribal food sovereignty.” 

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