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Our State Magazine Visits Pembroke

November 1, 2000

coverGREENSBORO, N.C. --- Amid the flurry of fall leaves, Our State magazine's November issue arrived at the newsstands and in mailboxes filled with articles about North Carolina’s autumn. Included in the colorful edition is an in-depth, 28-page feature on Indians in North Carolina.

The Town of Pembroke and UNC Pembroke are featured in a lengthy article by an old friend.

Writer D.G. Martin, former interim vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, writes in his story, “An Insider’s Guide To Pembroke,” that although the area is home to more than 42,000 Indians, few tourists visit the town. He says that the town’s focus on family and today’s challenges make it more a working place than a tourist trap.

Also featured in the November issue is an article by UNC Pembroke geography Professor Tom Ross on the mystery of the famous Carolina bays. Dr. Ross is a nationally known expert on the bays.

Southeastern North Carolina has thousands of elipitcally shaped bays of all sizes, Lake Waccamaw being the largest. Dr. Ross’ article is about how human activities are shaped by the presence of bays in the area.

“In the past few people would consider building a home or farm structure in a Carolina bay, but today it is becoming commonplace to see bays being fill with sand and clay followed by construction of buildings,” Dr. Ross said. “I am very concerned about the stability of the structures built in the bays because of the amount of organic material within their interiors, and that organic material will compact under the weight of construction.”

“Bays are constantly undergoing change by the actitivities of humans, and some of these changes may very well affect the environment in negative ways,” he said. “Careful consideration should be given before altering bay ecosystems.”

Relying on some of the state’s most notable Indian studies experts, Our State articles on Indians range from their struggle for identity and sovereignty by David La Vere, associate professor of history at UNC Wilmington, to an overview of the history of six North Carolina tribes by Clyde Ellis, associate professorof history at Elon College and author or editor of three books and nearly two dozen essays on American Indian history.

Dr. Ellis writes that North Carolina’s rich and diverse native heritage makes it one of the nation's leading Indian states. With 93,000 American Indians living in the state according to the 1996 census, North Carolina has the largest Indian population east of the Mississippi River.

Marion A. Ellis, one of the team of journalists at The Charlotte Observer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1981, wrote “Native Son” for the November Our State feature. The story focuses on oneof the area’s most famous Lumbee Indians, Dennis Lowery, a UNC Pembroke graduate turnedextremely successful entrepreneur and Charlotte business tycoon.

November’s Our State completes its portrait of North Carolina Indians with a complete listing of Powwows, Indian-related museums, books and other organizations with Indian interests.

Published since 1933, Our State is North Carolina’s only travel, history, and folklore publication, and is available at fine bookstores or through subscriptions by calling 800.948.1409.