My Turn, Fleming Otey: Honor and help Native Americans

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

By Fleming Otey

Celebrate November as Native American Heritage Month and in particular, honor the Lumbee Indian Nation, their families, friends and neighbors in the Eastern Carolinas and Virginia.

The Indian Native Americans and friends in this Yadkin River Valley region near Rowan-Salisbury are co-hosting a “mini-powwow.”

All are invited to be the featured guests at the Salisbury VA Medical Center gym in Building 6. Everyone is invited to come out and support the flood victims and honor the Lumbee and others.

Displays will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

The main program is at noon.

In 2014, Dr. Joe Oxendine was honored as president of Catawba College. and in the millennium year 2000 Miss Lorna McNeil was honored as Miss North Carolina and as Indian Good Will Ambassador. Salisbury and Rowan County were greatly blessed by their contributions to our veterans.

Recently we witnessed an awesome TV review of the recent Lumbee Powwow on a grand TV special.

Our dream is to partner with the Lumbee and others to bring all by bus, train and/or caravan to be our guests.

Who are we?

The ministers and clergy of the United Ministerial Alliance and others of Salisbury-Rowan County who support these community activities, the Covenant Community Connection, downtown churches and over two dozen minority and international churches.

As master of ceremonies for the Indian Native American Celebration at the VA, we are also reaching out to the total community. In the Powwow Spiritual Circle, a brief introduction of the participants will take place. Plus drumming, music and Indian dance demonstration.

At a recent meeting we sent $1,000 via the Red Cross to assist as needed currently.

It is good to hear that many have transcended these kinds of flood adversities in the past and are coping well again as need be. With the blessings and amazing grace of Our Lord, we stand by ready and willing to assist.

Imagine busloads of Indian young people and their regalia and parents coming to the YMCA to swim and visit nearby malls and stores and restaurants.

We have backup support from First Baptist Crisis and Recreational Support with Gymnasium and Youth Ministry, Methodist, Lutheran and other outreach programs. This is not a hand out but a thank you for the Native American contributions and rich heritage given our community.

There are over 200 acres of original Indian trading post historical grounds at the Yadkin River Bridge.

If Rowan County is a triangle, this is the top tip next to the Davidson County line, separated by an island and the Yadkin River Bridge. The acreage is in the shape of the crown of an eagle. This is a truly historical site.

This could be the extension and reclamation and restoration of ancient, traditional Indian land. A museum could also go there.

This may  seem improbable, but nothing with God is impossible, and awesome things are possible.

The Rev. Dr. Fleming “Holy Eagle” Otey is president emeritus of the Ministrial Association, and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.