Occaneechi Homeland Preservation Project: Bringing the Past and the Future Together
A Look at What's Planned
Contact Us

Tribal Chair Wanda Whitmore-Penner at Spring Pow-wow

In August 2002, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation embarked on an ambitious project; to  begin buying back a portion of it's ancestral lands in the "Little Texas" Community of NE Alamance County, North Carolina.  For the first time in over 250 years, the Occaneechi would own land again as a Tribe, to be used for Tribal administrative offices, a Museum, permanant Pow-wow grounds, and reconstructed 1701 Occaneechi Village.  On 30 acres of land, the Occaneechi will build a legacy for their children.
This complex will serve as an educational tool, not just for the Tribal members, but for the public as a whole.  Anyone interested in the lifestyle of the Siouan Tribes of the North Carolina and Virginia Piedmont will find the planned complex an invaluble resource.  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 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.

1930's Indian-owned Store in "Little Texas"

Why are we asking for help?
The Occaneechi are one of the smallest tribes in the southeast, and are composed mainly of families engaged either in agriculture, or manufacturing.  Tribal members have been very supportive of past projects, and are working hard to make this project a reality.  Tribal resources have been drained, however, by a six-year legal struggle with the State of North Carolina, one which finally, in February 2002, resulted in official recognition for the tribe.  It will be some time before the last of our legal expenses are paid. 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 tourism and ultimately employing 8-10 tribal members in various positions at the Center either in the office, the museum, or as interpreters for the reconstructed Village and Lof Homestead.

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.

If you want to make a 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.

To find out more about the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, its history and its current programs, go to www.occaneechi-saponi.org.

Occaneechi Elder and grandchild