Junior political science major and Ester Howard Research Fellows student Dean Locklear talks about his research on North Carolina Native American tribes — specifically the Coharie and Lumbee tribes found in central and southeastern parts of the state. Locklear, a Lumbee Indian himself, conducted his research this year at a time when Campbell University developed a partnership with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs through School of Education & Human Sciences Dean — and fellow Lumbee — Dr. Al Bryant.
Guest: Dean Locklear
Host: Billy Liggett
Recorded: Sept. 6, 2022
Billy Liggett 0:00
Alright, so a few things to know before you listen to my interview with Dean lock Lear, a junior political science major and one of a handful of students who took part in the Esther Howard research fellows program over the summer. First off, Dean is a native Lumbee Indian. His research this summer focused on land recognition agreements for Lumbee and Coharie tribes here in North Carolina. The Coharie are based here in Harnett. County and in Sampson County. So that really localizes his research. His research ties wonderfully into a story that I’m actually working on for an upcoming edition of Campbell magazine. It’s about Campbell’s growing partnership with the North Carolina commission of Indian Affairs, and the history of Native Americans in the central part of this state. So I don’t usually do a podcast on a story that’s still a few months away, but consider this podcast part of my own research. So you’re going to be learning right along with me. Second, second thing you need to know is I met Dean about three minutes before we started recording, and I have not read his research yet, but I will. I promised I will. So if my questions do come off as a bit in uninformed, it’s because they are. I was learning. Again, I’m learning right along with you about his research. And I think that does come off in some of my questions. And I apologize to you. I apologize to Dean about that. But But the third thing you need to know is that Dean handled it all wonderfully. And I’m really excited to include him as my own personal first guest of this fall. So as you may know, rhymes with orange is now a two man project. Evan Budrovich joined our marketing and communications team over the summer, and he kicked off the new season last week with a podcast with assistant head coach head football coach, Steven Williams. So if you haven’t listened to that one yet, why don’t you go ahead and pause this one, go back, listen to that one. And then you can come back and listen to this one just so you have it all in a nice tidy order. So as for me, this is my 11th year here at Campbell University. And I think it’s my fifth year doing the podcast. The pandemic slowed us down a bit as far as the podcast goes, but we’re back. And we’re going to try to do one a week, throughout the semester. So include us into your, into your podcast rotation and sit back and enjoy and learn more about Campbell University. So thanks go out to Dean Locklear for talking to me and for sharing his research. And thanks go out to you for listening to this podcast. I’m Billy Liggett. I’m the director of news and publications here at Campbell University. And this rhymes with orange.
Okay, so I’m with Dean Locklear. He is a junior Political Science major from Garner, North Carolina, you’re you are a huge resource for me. So I just want to start by asking, first of all, thank you for agreeing to do this Dean, and I appreciate you doing this. But first off, just tell me what your research is about. I know, it’s a very broad question, but just kind of what you studied and a little bit of what you found out. Right. So
Dean Locklear 3:29
I can kind of start out with explaining what a land acknowledgement statement is. A land acknowledgement statement is something that’s either included in a professor syllabus or read before an event on campus. But essentially, it’s acknowledging the history of Native American people on an institution’s campus or around an institution’s campus. So it’s something that’s kind of gaining more and more popularity here in the United States. It originated more in Canada and in New Zealand. And in Australia, it kind of started over in the eastern, or excuse me, the western part of the country and is slowly coming in towards the south, the southeast. So we decided to study other institutions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, to kind of understand what they’ve been doing in terms of land acknowledgement, land acknowledgement statements, whether or not they’ve published land acknowledgement statements. And so essentially, what we did is we collected a list of every institution, those four states, and did a lot of Googling and created sort of a database of every single land acknowledgement statement from those institutions. And we were able to kind of study the context, the contents of those and kind of compare and contrast with what experts have put forward as best practices in land acknowledgement statements.
Billy Liggett 4:47
So again, going back to the reason why I’m interested in this. Campbell University has hosted the North Carolina commission of Indian Affairs quarterly meeting twice now and the Dean of our School of Ed Education and Human Sciences is a as a Lumbee, member of the Lumbee Tribe. And so that’s what got me interested in this. And then and then I learned that Kalahari tribe is, is based out of Harnett County and Sampson County. I’m going to guess that the Kalahari tribe plays a role in your research. So what did what did you find out about the people that were here long before we were?
Dean Locklear 5:29
Yeah, so actually, that commission meeting is how I kind of got involved with it. Like Dr. Brian, I’m a member of the Lumbee Tribe. As part of that connection, I was invited to attend. And he and I got to speaking and that’s actually how I kind of got involved in this project in the first place. But what we found is that actually coherent and Lumbee were the two tribes that the experts who we spoke to, most strongly believe have the connection to the Harnett County area, especially the CO Harry the CO Harry their headquarters is located in Sampson County. They predominantly live in Sampson and Harnett. County. And a lot of one thing that I learned is a lot about the Native American population in the Harnett. County area, they make up around 2% of the population. And I got to speak to a couple of members of the coherer tribe, I was able to speak to the tribal chairman, Mr. Greg Jacobs, who was able to kind of walk me through some of the history of the cohering people, their history with Campbell University, and some of the things that Campbell University is currently doing to partner with their tribe to address some of the some of the needs of their community.
Billy Liggett 6:35
Okay, so again, I met you about five minutes ago, I did not know that you were a member of the Lumbee Tribe. Is it full blooded is Tell me Tell me about your, your, your line here.
Dean Locklear 6:48
Um, so I’m a member of the tribe we which is like a tribal I’m tribally. I’m enrolled in the tribe that is enrolled in the tribe, both of my grandparents on my dad’s side are enrolled in the tribe. My mom is not, there’s no really connection there that I’m aware of. Okay. But yeah, it’s definitely a familial connection.
Billy Liggett 7:06
And, and that’s based in like Robeson County, okay.
Dean Locklear 7:10
Most of my family lives in Robeson County. My dad moved. He was born in Raleigh, spent a few years of his childhood in Robeson County, a majority of my dad’s family lives out there. And so I kind of have that connection that way.
Billy Liggett 7:23
Okay. All right. So when, when you see the name Dean lock layer, you don’t know, you know, it’s not like well, actually,
Dean Locklear 7:30
one thing that is interesting about the Lumbee Tribe is a large portion of Lumbees have the last name lock layer, that it’s, it’s actually the most predominant name, last name along among Lumbee people. And so if you’re ever driving around the Robertson County area, you’ll see a lot of like, businesses, a lot of road, things like that.
Billy Liggett 7:51
Don’t where’s the name? Where’s the name? Like, come from? Like, what, what’s the meaning behind the last name, then?
Dean Locklear 7:58
Um, so that wasn’t something that I started as part of my project. So
Billy Liggett 8:01
yeah, it’s kind of started. Maybe you knew that? Yeah. Family history. That’s all right.
Dean Locklear 8:05
Um, so our understanding is that it is an Irish last name that at some point came over, when Native American people and the white settlers were kind of intermarrying. And
Billy Liggett 8:16
okay. All right. Interesting. There’s a lot of history behind that. Yeah. And, and I know, in talking to Dr. Brian, we could go really deep into Lumbee history, but I did want to focus on your pronouncing go Harry, I pronounce it go Hurry, I’m assuming go Harry is the correct pronunciation. So I’m gonna start saying for Harry from here on out. Okay. So what did you find out about where we go Harry tribe and, and it’s Harnett. County, and their Harnett County origins. And so I
Dean Locklear 8:50
can kind of talk a little bit about my expectations of what would we would be able to find out and kind of what that brought us to. So my expectation was to be able to find out a lot of information using archaeological evidence, and then historical documentation. So the first person who I spoke to one of the first people who I spoke to was actually the state archaeologist, John Mintz. And one thing that I learned was that they have evidence in their archives that that says that Native American people have had a continuous presence in the Harnett. County area for over 4,000 years. So we know that Native American people have been here, they are still here today. One thing that I learned is that you cannot use archaeological evidence to answer our question of which tribes were they? There was not a specific tool or any specific practice that would say, you know, okay, well coherer did this and Lumbee did this. So that didn’t exist. So we turn from archaeological evidence to historical documentation. From there, we also ran into a couple of challenges because one of the biggest things was that there were courthouse fires towards the end of the 1800s. He was 1892 and 1894. So a majority of Harnett County’s records up until that point had been destroyed. And even if those records existed, there would be a lot of limitations because Native American people at that time on censuses would have been referred to as free persons of color. And that’s a distinction it with that term, it’s not possible to distinguish between a Native American person and basically any other non white person, right. And so archaeological evidence we were kind of coming up short on on determining specific tribe, documentation, we didn’t really have anything that existed that would help us determine a specific tribe. So what we really relied on is actual members of that tribes, and those tribes, representatives of the Lumbees and the Coharie. And speaking to them, and kind of understanding their own history with the land, okay. And so that’s how we kind of made those determinations of the Lumbee and the Coharie, as the two tribes,
Billy Liggett 11:00
I’ve gone back and read about just Native Americans and last 100 years here in North Carolina, and how they’ve grown politically, and and you know, ahead of organized, but going further back, you know, 19th century 18th century, I know nothing about the North Carolina history here. But what did you learn about Coharie? That, just from the stories that were told to you, I guess
Dean Locklear 11:27
so what I learned about the distinction between tribes, east and west of the Mississippi is that in the early 1800s, a majority of Native American people were moved out west onto reservations, right. And so the tribes that are here currently are leftover from those that stayed, and so a majority of people left. And around that time is when Lumbee and Coharie came together as tribes. So prior to around 1850, I don’t believe that they had a distinction. They didn’t view themselves as coherent, or they weren’t called Coharie. Let’s see, they, I know that they were recognized by the SE, and at 1971. The Lumbee had recognition in the late 1800s. From the state, they’re still on the path to trying to get federal recognition of the coherer. You also do not have federal recognition,
Billy Liggett 12:20
I imagine because you’re personally tied to this that that your research doesn’t just stop here. So tell me about what you learned and what you’re going to do going forward,
Dean Locklear 12:30
you know, I can kind of share some of our findings from what some of the other institutions in the southeast have done in terms of light acknowledgement statements. So out of those four states, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, we found 31 lending documents statements from around 175 institutions. 100% of them, all of them at least mentioned one specific tribe, we learned that six of the 31 included a pronunciation guide. So that’s around 19% had a pronunciation guide 20 Out of the 31 had some specific mention of future efforts towards reconciliation, whether that’s a scholarship program, whether that’s partnering with the Native American communities to in terms of health care, something along those lines, I learned that 17 Out of the 31 had mentioned the displacement of Native American people. And our most one of our most significant findings is that zero out of the 31 had mentioned any specific expressions of remorse, remorse, regret or apology. So I found that
Billy Liggett 13:33
so repeat that last, the last one to me what repeat that again,
Dean Locklear 13:38
we learned that none of the 31 institutions had made any mention of regret remorse or apology and their land acknowledgement statements.
Billy Liggett 13:47
And so what does that mean? So that they didn’t express any regret or apologies for that. Nobody expressed that to them.
Dean Locklear 13:57
So nobody, they did not express that in their land acknowledgement statement. So there was not a Senate saying, you know, we recognize that Native American people were displaced from this land and we regret that which was interesting. Yeah. 31 institutions that nobody thought to include that. Yeah,
Billy Liggett 14:13
it’s well, I mean, it’s not surprising but it is surprising right? You know, okay. All right. And and so what did as a as a native Lumbee yourself and and what did you get out of this? Personally, I guess that maybe you didn’t expect going in? I know, you did the research because it was something you started off familiar with. But I imagine that you had to learn something along the way that that you didn’t know that you held dear or just you know, the overall experience maybe got you closer to you know, to your to your history. What what did you get out of this personally?
Dean Locklear 14:55
Yeah, absolutely. Um, well, I think that the first thing that I learned was how little I knew about Native American history, you know, I am a Native American person, I grew up outside of Native American communities going to a school that didn’t have a lot of Native American people. And I learned that, you know, we don’t really prioritize our Native American history. And that’s not something that we have kind of included in our curriculum. And so I kind of learned how much I had missed out, and how much of our country’s history or local history or University history really hasn’t been recorded. And so I’m hoping that my project will play a role in changing that. Part of the personal benefits was I got to dedicate the project to my grandparents. My grandma was one of the first people who I kind of presented the final project to Yeah, and so getting to share that with her was, was a really rewarding experience.
Billy Liggett 15:46
That’s very cool. And so I mentioned at the beginning of this interview, that, that the Dean of our School of Education is also native Lumbee. And did you know him? Before all this started, or before you got to Campbell University?
Dean Locklear 16:03
No. So this was my first time meeting him at the NC commission meeting, which happened on campus.
Billy Liggett 16:07
And how did he help you? Well, he
Dean Locklear 16:10
was very helpful, because I mean, he, he really oversaw the entire project. He has a lot of connections within the Native American community. I think that he was previously at UNC Pembroke, which is a university that that deals very, very closely with the Lumbee Tribe. And so he was able to make a lot of connections for me a lot of introductions. And really, he was a resource that I went to to ask for advice, as you know, is this the direction that we want to move in? And so he was enormously helpful in that in that regard?
Billy Liggett 16:41
And how did how did you find Campbell University you said, You’re from Robeson County, which isn’t too far from here, but you had other options. As far as schools, closer options. What What brought you to Campbell University? Yeah,
Dean Locklear 16:52
well, I was born and raised in the Wake County area,
Billy Liggett 16:54
so that wasn’t too far away. Yeah. But still a lot of options. Yeah,
Dean Locklear 16:58
I had kind of a normal experience, they actually came to my high school, and I was able to have an interview there. And I think it was called onsite acceptance. And so I kind of had that connection. And it seemed like a university that had a lot of community, I came from a smaller High School, that was something that was important to me. It’s near where I grew up. And so I kind of had the opportunity to build community here while also remaining part of community at home. And so those were kind of the factors that helped me choose Campbell.
Billy Liggett 17:29
So I’ve done I’ve done research into Campbell University history and Harnett County history. I didn’t find this necessarily so much a camel university, but in studying Harnett, county, Harnett County in some of the surrounding areas don’t have a great history in terms of social social justice and tolerance and things like that. A lot has changed, obviously, in the last 5060 years. And do you see that this part of North Carolina is becoming more? You mentioned, the no apologies thing, which is interesting. But do you see that this area, and the state as a whole is becoming more mindful of its Native American history? And? And how do you see that, I guess, growing in the next maybe 1020 years?
Dean Locklear 18:19
Yeah, I think that, you know, we can always do more, I think that everyday, we’re taking a step in a positive direction. And I think that the most important thing is education. I remember, as a freshman at Campbell, I was in Dr. Sherry Truffin’s English class, and she asked for us to list out all of the writers that we started in high school, and she wrote around probably a list of like, maybe 35 names on her board. And we looked at all of those names, and I think it was Maya Angelou was the one exception, all other writers were white, and most of them were men. And so I think that we kind of have to really focus on education, focus on, you know, what we’re learning in schools, and make sure that we’re learning all of our history, not just the clean parts, not just the parts that have always been studied, but also the ugly parts, parts that we haven’t really focused on. Because, you know, if we want to focus on tomorrow, we have to learn about our past and learn how to how to avoid making those mistakes in the future.
Billy Liggett 19:16
That’s a whole other subject of teaching the ugly parts of our history, which I completely 100% agree with, but not everybody seems to agree with. We can talk about that another time. But you said you’re a political science major what? What are your your goals post college, you still have a couple of years here, but what do you hope a degree here leads to?
Dean Locklear 19:36
Well, my hope is to get a law degree, you know, I really want to just serve I want to kind of be a person who I’m able to come into people’s lives, you know, because when someone needs an attorney, they’re kind of really at a low point. And so I want to be able to come into their lives when they’re at a low point and hopefully help them get past whatever issue they’re dealing with and leave their life a better a better place.
Billy Liggett 19:58
So law school after this And that’s okay. All right and I want to thank you very much for for agreeing to do this. I can’t wait to read your your paper and I can’t wait to learn more about it and it’s going to help me immensely in my in my research too so I want to thank you for doing this and best of luck in your your next two years here and best of luck in the future, of course.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai