honoring

Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

Today we celebrate the people who first called this land home. We remember the struggles and tragedies they endured. We honor their place in and contributions to the shared story of Orange County, North Carolina.

“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.”

Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket] Tweet

Honoring the Past and Grasping the Future

  • Presidential Proclamation
  • History in Orange County, NC
  • The Occaneechi, Haw, and Eno were the first Native Americans to live within present-day Orange County. As European surveyors and explorers traversed the new colony of North Carolina in the early 1700s, John Lawson encountered the Occaneechi tribe in 1701 while traveling along the Great Trading Path. The Occannechi’s location offered economic and political power, notably in the area of deerskin exchange among the tribes connected by the Trading Path. Archeologists estimate that the Occaneechi inhabited the village between 1680 and 1710. After several concentrated digs, the site was declared as “some of the best preserved and scientifically most significant archeological sites in southeastern North America.”

    By the early eighteenth century, the Occaneechi had vanished from present-day Orange County because disease and warfare had been detrimental to the Piedmont tribes. Reference: NCpedia

  • North Carolina Demographics
  • The Poetry of Joy Harjo
  • Joy Harjo's Inaugural Reading as U.S. Poet Laureate

    In September of 2019, awarding-winning poet Joy Harjo gives her inaugural reading as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate.

  • Native Youth Are More Than Statistics

The Occaneechi, Haw, and Eno were the first Native Americans to live within present-day Orange County. As European surveyors and explorers traversed the new colony of North Carolina in the early 1700s, John Lawson encountered the Occaneechi tribe in 1701 while traveling along the Great Trading Path. The Occannechi’s location offered economic and political power, notably in the area of deerskin exchange among the tribes connected by the Trading Path. Archeologists estimate that the Occaneechi inhabited the village between 1680 and 1710. After several concentrated digs, the site was declared as “some of the best preserved and scientifically most significant archeological sites in southeastern North America.”

By the early eighteenth century, the Occaneechi had vanished from present-day Orange County because disease and warfare had been detrimental to the Piedmont tribes. Reference: NCpedia

Joy Harjo's Inaugural Reading as U.S. Poet Laureate

In September of 2019, awarding-winning poet Joy Harjo gives her inaugural reading as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate.