The Meherrin people live near the North Carolina and Virginia border, in Hertford, Gates, North Hampton and Bertie Counties.
Meherrin people refer to themselves as Kauwets'a:ka, meaning "People of the Water." "We are an Iroquois nation- close relatives of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) with whom we share deep historical and cultural ties."
Helen Maynor Scheirbeck (1935-2010) was a Lumbee Indian political scientist, educator, and community organizer born in Lumberton, N.C. Scheirbeck both led and served as a consultant to governmental and non-governmental organizations related to American Indian tribal recognition, education, and community development, including the National Congress of American Indians; the Rural and Indian Divisions of the Wisconsin Community Action Programs; the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; the John Hay Whitney Foundation; the American Indian Policy Review Commission; the National Commission for the International Year of the Child; the White House Conference on Children and Youth; the associated Lumbee Regional Development Association, Indian Information Program, and United Indians of America; the Save the Children Federation; the North Carolina Indian Cultural Center; Head Start programs serving American Indian and Alaskan Natives; and the National Museum of the American Indian. Scheirbeck's father, Judge Lacy W. Maynor (1904-1972), was one of the first American Indian judges in North Carolina, and was an advocate for Lumbee Indian rights, education, and federal recognition, a leader in the National Congress of American Indians, and a public opponent of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. The collection consists chiefly of professional correspondence, research files, administrative files, grant proposals, legislative reports, clippings, speeches, and academic writings created or collected by Helen Maynor Scheirbeck during her career with governmental and non-governmental organizations dedicated to American Indian interests. Materials document American Indian education and social welfare policy development, cultural institutions and organizations, and community development, as well as federal recognition of the Lumbee, Menominee and other tribes. There are also correspondence, clippings, printed items, speech notes, drafts, and an audio recording of Scheirbeck's father, Judge Lacy W. Maynor, that document his judicial career and civic activities.
The Jesse E. Oxendine Papers, 1860s-2015, consist of letters, scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials of Jesse E. Oxendine (1926-2017), a Lumbee Indian from Pembroke, N.C. Letters, 1944-1954, were written by family and friends from Pembroke, Charlotte, Detroit, and Richmond, chiefly during Oxendine's World War II military service. Other topics include boy scout troop 27 in Pembroke; the history of the 82nd Airborne, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, including their participation in the liberation of Wobbelin concentration camp near Ludwigslust, Germany; Holocaust education; Cherokee Indian Normal School and Pembroke State University; Pembroke local history during the 1940s; Civil War and Reconstruction era recipes and home concoctions; the W. M. Lowry General Merchandise Store; and a 1958 incident in which Lumbee Indians expelled the Ku Klux Klan from Maxton, N.C.