To the Editor,
Fifteen million dollars worth of construction wages and materials has gone unutilized by Harvey Godwin Jr., his tribal administrator Freda Porter and their administration.
These budgeted but unused funds could have fed more children, paid for more education, decreased tension in more households, avoided more abuse, bought more Christmas presents, eased the struggle for more elders, brought jobs and income …. and given tribal members safe housing.
This information was recently revealed in a fiscal report issued to members of thee Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
An influx of $15 million into the construction economies of Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties could have been life changing for industries and households. Painters, builders, brick masons, plumbers, electricians, cement craftsmen, roofers, Sheetrockers, landscapers and more vocations could have been drawing paychecks. Local buildering supply businesses could have been transacting business. Additionally church offerings may have increased as household incomes increased.
In another startling matter, I have learned that Lumbee Tribal member enrollments are being suspended if birth certificates and Social Security numbers are not on file for members. Tribal members who have been enrolled for decades are being fined and disenfranchised from member benefits.
Instead of making jobs, the Godwin tribal administration is making obstacles for tribal members that could prevent voting in November. I recommend that tribal members request an immediate public joint meeting with Godwin and Tribal Council to get some explanations.
Lumbee tribal members need to know why the $15 million has not been spent. We also need to know what is required in tribal member enrollment files in order to vote in the November election.
When I see the Godwin administration involved in activities like these, I question what they consider to be priorities for the Lumbee people.
Eric R. Locklear
Eric Locklear has told The Robesonian he was handling public relations for Raymond Cummings, who is running for Lumbee tribal chairman. Locklear told us after we received and published this letter he is no longer in that capacity — editor.