LUMERTON — Paul Brooks, the fifth chairman of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, was inaugurated Monday during a ceremony held during the tribe’s annual Christmas celebration at the Southeastern Agricultural Events Center.
Several hundre tribal members attended the event, which not only served as a chance to see the tribe’s top elected official inaugurated, but was an opportunity for tribal members to learn about the services available to tribal members.
Members of the Lumbee Tribal Council were not sworn in Monday. They will be sworn in next month.
“I am not worthy of this honor,” Brooks said during his inauguration speech. “I don’t know how to thank you enough for this privilege. There are no differences in this room. There is nothing we can’t do because God is on our side. We can all move forward together because God will be doing the leading.”
Brooks used his speech to emphasize his commitment to providing and expanding services for the tribe’s elders, young people and veterans. He also emphasized the need, and his strong commitment, toward economic development and jobs for the Lumbee people.
During his speech, Brooks highlighted some of the services that tribal members have received over the past year. He said that the tribe has provided services to more than 250 veterans, 500 elders and 400 young people. Also, the tribe repaired homes for 135 families and built 10 new homes, and helped about 3,000 families pay their energy bills.
“We need jobs,” he said. “We need to put our people back to work. And that is our commitment to you. I am nothing but a servant and I am willing to do what is necessary to move us forward as a tribe.
“I would like to give a huge thanks to the Tribal Council,” Brooks said. “Without their hard work, we would not be where we are tonight.”