Heritage Group Tribal Elders Travel to Washington for Obama Administration
(October 2009) From Monday, September 28, 2009 through Thursday, October 1, 2009 Tribal Elders from each Heritage group traveled to Washington, DC and gifted the Obama administration with a pinecone patchwork quilt in which each group came together to make.
Each group has their own way of designing the pinecone patchwork, stated Americorp VISTA Volunteer Amanda Strickland, because of that they decided each group would quilt together a piece unique to their group making one big quilt, so when you look at it no two pieces are alike. On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 the Elders presented their gift to Congressman Mike McIntyre and a member of Obamas staff.
The Elders received personal tours of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Capital; arranged by the office of Congressman Mike McIntyre. They were also able to visit the Arlington National Cemetery and the White House. Arlington Cemetery was such a big deal for them; there are 200 acres of more than 300,000 people buried there, remarked Strickland, they were just amazed, especially when they changed guards; there was a special ceremony every time a new guard took his post.
Elders Services allows each Heritage group to choose locations for their trips, the only stipulation is they have to be culturally relevant. After each group chooses the Elders Advisory Council votes on the location. They ran circles around me; the excitement on their faces was worth all the planning that went into it, continued Strickland, especially being able to come off the elevator every night to see them gathered in the lobby drinking coffee, eating fresh baked cookies the hotel had made and socializing about the days events.
There are Heritage groups in Cumberland, Scotland, Hoke and Robeson counties. For more information on site locations or the Lumbee Tribe Elders Services Department please call 910.521.8860.