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Indigenous Peoples of North Carolina: Home

What is in this guide?

Photograph of Lumber River

This guide is designed to introduce researchers to the resources available at UNC-Chapel Hill's Wilson Special Collections Library about Indigenous peoples of North Carolina. This guide is intended to provide a starting point for research and not comprehensive. This guide contains a list of materials in Wilson Special Collections Library on each tribe, including books, government reports, and journal articles.

UNC-Chapel Hill is in Orange County, NC, and the boundaries of Orange County are drawn on Indigenous land, home of Siouan-speaking tribes who first lived in this area and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation (OBSN).

Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the land of the Eno, Tutelo, Saponi, Occaneechi, and Shakori Native people.

We are gathered today on land that was traditionally part of the territory of the Saponi people, in the Piedmont of what is now the state of North Carolina. This area is not far from the “Great Trading Path”, used by both the native people of this area and non-native peoples during the early years of contact. The Saponi people, whose descendants include the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation Indian Tribe still thrive and live in this region, officially recognized by the state government of North Carolina.

We pay respect to their elders past and present. The Occaneechi People (The Ye’sah), ask that you will keep these thoughts in mind, while here on their ancestral lands and treat it with the respect, love, and care that their Ancestors did, and as the Occaneechi Saponi people do so today.

The Occaneechi Tribe Land Acknowledgement, created by the OBSN Tribal Council, should be used to recognize the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

The State of North Carolina, through its Commission of Indian Affairs, recognizes eight tribes in the state: the Coharie, based in Sampson and Harnett counties; the Eastern Band of Cherokee, in the Western section of the state; the Haliwa-Saponi, in Halifax and Warren counties; the Sappony of Person County; the Lumbee, in Robeson, Hoke, Scotland, and Cumberland counties; the Meherrin, in Bertie and Gate counties; the Waccamaw-Siouan, in Columbus and Bladen counties; and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, in Orange and Alamance counties. Also included is the Tuscarora based in Robeson County - the Tuscarora Nation of New York has Federal recognition but it is not recognized by the State of North Carolina.

Search your address at to see Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages.

Areas of research covered in this guide:

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Sarah Carrier
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