In August 2002, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation embarked on an ambitious project; to begin buying back a portion of its ancestral lands in the “Little Texas” Community of NE Alamance County, North Carolina. This was called the Occaneechi Homeland Preservation Project. For the first time in over 250 years, the Occaneechi own land again as a Tribe, to be used for economic development for the tribal community, as well as for tribal administrative offices. On this small tract of rural land, the Occaneechi have begun a legacy for their children. These plans began to take shape in February 2004, when the tribe purchased 25 acres of rolling farmland on Daily Store Rd. on the headwaters of Stagg Creek. The tribe has worked with the Landscape Architecture Department at North Carolina A & T University and the Rural Initiative Project, Inc. of Winston-Salem to create a master plan for the site, which will include
A permanent ceremonial ground (completed Spring 2005)
Tribal Orchards with heirloom apples, chestnuts paw-paws and muscadine grapes (ongoing)
Reconstructed 1701 Occaneechi Village and 1880’s era farm (in construction)
Educational nature trails (in planning)
Tribal museum (in planning)
Administrative office space, community meeting area, classroom space (in planning)
This complex will serve as an educational tool, not just for the Tribal members, but for the public as a whole. Each Fall since 2005, the Occaneechi tribe has hosted over 600 area elementary and middle school students on the tribal center property, teaching them about traditional dance, lifeways, outdoor cooking, storytelling, flint-knapping, hunting and fishing, and Southeastern regalia. As the complex develops, this type of cultural/educational activity will be done on a regular basis, employing Tribal members as guides and cultural interpreters.
Anyone interested in the lifestyle of the Siouan Tribes of the North Carolina and Virginia Piedmont will find the planned complex an invaluable resource, and the tribe is networking with the Alamance County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as it continues to develop the project. As a tourist attraction, it will, in conjunction with the Tribe’s Pow-wows, festivals, and historical programs, draw thousands of visitors into the Alamance county area, while helping preserve the quiet rural way of life in the community.
The facility will also increase the Tribe’s self-sufficiency by bringing income into the tribal community, and providing employment for tribal members, employment that is much needed with the decline of the tobacco and textile industries in the region. It will make the tribe more independent by giving it a place of its own to hold tribal meetings, classes, and ceremonies without having to use the facilities of others. The Tribal Council will meet here, as will the Occaneechi Youth Council. Adult Literacy Classes for Tribal members, Neighborhood Watch, and other programs that would benefit both Tribal members as well as the community at large would be held here. The Tribe’s Emergency Food Cupboard would benefit from expanded space.
Help Us Fulfill a Dream
The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is one of the smallest tribes in the southeast, and are composed mainly of families engaged either in agriculture, or manufacturing. Tribal members have volunteered hundreds of hours of work on past projects, and are working hard to make this project a reality.
Alamance County is in the midst of an economic slump, with several of the oldest and largest employers in the area going out of business within the past year. This proposed Tribal Center would be economically good, not just for the Occaneechi, but for the surrounding area as well, by promoting heritage tourism and ultimately employing 10–15 tribal members in various positions at the Center either in the office, the museum, or as interpreters for the reconstructed Village and Log Homestead.
LEFT: 1930’s Indian-owned store in “Little Texas”
How You Can Help
In order to help raise money for this project, the Occaneechi are offering Tribal members and friends the opportunity to become a part of history. For the sum of $50.00, you can purchase an inscribed brick that will be used in some part of the Tribal Center Complex. This brick can have up to 16 characters (including spaces between words) per line, with up to 3 lines per brick. These may contain your names; memorials to loved ones who have passed on, children or grandchildren’s names, or a message for posterity. Or, you may simply make a donation to the project. The Tribe is currently working to retitle its mortgage on the land. Any donation, whether it be $5 or $500 is greatly appreciated.
If you want to make a tax-deductible donation to the Homeland Preservation Project, or purchase an inscribed brick for $50.00, please contact the Tribal office at 919-304-3723, or mail to:
Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation 207 E. Center St. Mebane, NC 27302
The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
I am so always team Martha to the point of having a real chip on my shoulder on her behalf. Maybe Jesus should have gotten up and done some dishes himself. I know I can pontificate about things while washing a plate. I bet Jesus could too.
She is my favorite saint.
Dear Saints Martha and Mary. Guide me and protect me from stabbing the next dude who thinks he is too important to wash a dish every now and again. Amen.
The idea for PGRDresses came to her while watching Malcolm X and talking to friends about gender roles. A friend suggested that maybe if women dressed like ladies, men would follow suit. And that’s when PGRDresses, the Movement, was born.
PGRDresses is all about empowering women and girls. They want all of our sisters to embrace beauty and womanhood. And they feel the best way to illustrate this point is to dress like a lady. PGRDresses motivates women to go the extra mile by rocking a pretty dress, a cute blouse/skirt combo or a killer feminine pants suit. With, of course, the pretty accessories and nice heels.
A friend shared this on my reader, saying they had mixed feelings about it. Well, my feelings are in no way mixed about this: they are starting from the WRONG assed premise and it’s a shitty idea. I got NO PROBLEM with women wanting to dress up, to be high femme, to enjoy it; and no problem with them doing what makes them happy & matters to them & supporting each other while doing it.
I DO have a problem with starting up a “movement” that 1) stems from a (heteronormative) ideal that if ladies were ladies men would be gentlemen, 2) the implication that those who aren’t femme are the problem, 3) the implication that men aren’t responsible for their own growth/maturity and we women gotta fix them by fixing ourselves to their ideal, 4) the seeming DENIAL of the ways in which nostalgia for that time/culture ignores the gross inequities and abuse that our foremothers endured (including the way those clothes were partially used to hobble a woman, both physically and socially - and I am all for the way that can be transgressed and a statement to the opposite, empowerment, can be made by high femme now, but that begins with an acknowledgement of its history) - and the fact that men weren’t gentlemen back then neither unless they wanted to be, and 5) that they would DARE to talk some ish about “pretty” as a VALUE statement like all women should want to be considered pretty or like there is only one way to be pretty - and oh well to any other gender who may want to be pretty, and oh well to any women who might have other ideas about what makes them pretty - AND infantilize it all by adding “girls” instead of women to ice up this cake of pure caca.
“Men would follow suit”? Does this mean the men would then wear dresses also? I’d be all over it. But I’m sure that’s not what they meant. This is stepping so far backwards that I am in cultural shock right now. Especially after the equality rights my black womyn have fought for… Oh, yeah ESPECIALLY since WE HAVE HAD TO FIGHT HARDER THAN THE REST OF THE CULTURALLY-DAMNED WOMYN! This is ridiculous and all else I have to say is ^ because the comments above answer all that. Fuck your pretty, fuck your dresses…I’ll wear what I want and still expect respect. And seriously the next time people tell me how to be a “lady” I’ma show them just how damn fucking ladylike I can be all over they asses(metaphorically speaking of courses). This is a movement for sure, a movement in the wrong direction.
A big PREACH IT to all the above commentary. I am not pretty and don’t want to be. I respect anyone, of any gender, who does want to be and who does want to draw strength from their prettiness and femininity, but that is not me and I don’t need it imposed on me. On the rare occasion that someone calls me pretty, they end up confused about why I just laugh at the absurdity of it.