To the Editor,
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
In December, Paul Brooks orchestrated private donors coming together and providing $15,000 to “feed” folks at an event at the Southeastern Farmers Market. While the community event was packaged in different ways, when all the ribbons and bows were removed, the event was a campaign initiative in appreciation and preparation for Brooks’ election and re-election efforts.
For nearly two years now the Education Committee of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Tribal Council has been engaged in fund-raising efforts to secure funds to be able to award merit and/or need-based scholarships to eligible enrolled tribal members. To date the fund has less than $2,000. The funds for December’s chicken and barbecue “feed” appeared to materialize out of thin air in less than 30 days. Efforts to secure funds to “teach” and to assist our tribal members in advancing their knowledge and capacity as well as the capacity of our entire membership have not been so lucky.
To the many or to the single millionaire(s) who were so quick to feed for a vote, I am asking you teach new generations how to fish. A lot of money goes out for campaigns in Robeson County, let’s use some of it to plant stronger futures. You may direct your contributions to The Lumbee Tribe Scholarship Fund, c/o Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, 6984 N.C.711 West, Pembroke N.C., 28372, or by calling 910-521-7861 or 800-659-6585.
Contributions designated directly to this effort will be utilized solely for scholarships facilitating higher education for eligible enrolled tribal members.
I ask our community to remember that a basic foundation of American Indian society is that we prepare not just for tomorrow, but for the next seven generations of life. A single piece of fish passed forward for seven generations has a scent that turns the stomach. Teaching a people how to provide for themselves and their future has the sweet smell of success.
Eric R. Locklear