To highlight Leadership in the Southeastern Region, National UNITY Council Executive Committee Representative Thorn Grove interviewed individuals who positively impact their communities.
Grove interviewed Reggie Brewer Jr. of the Lumbee Tribe. Mr. Brewer works with the Lumbee Boys and Girls Club and has been the Culture Coordinator for the past 13 years. Mr. Brewer teaches various indigenous skills ranging from beading to canoe making with indigenous youth throughout a network of Boys and Girls Clubs. He explained that his joy in working with native youth is when he sees prior students carrying on the traditional teachings into adulthood.
“The interview with Mr. Brewer left me with a better understanding of walking in a Red-way because of his ideal of maintaining our way of life as Native people without sacrificing our principles for the mold of American Society,” said Southeaster Representative Grove.
Since the age of 10, Reggie has been immersed in his culture through his involvement with Metrolinia Native American Association’s Urban Indian Center. Mr. Brewer was allowed to learn from many elders from communities in North Carolina, Canada, and abroad. Indigenous skills such as carving, beadwork, and pow-wow dancing came to him naturally, and he later developed a passion for pottery.
Karl Anthony, an accomplished Lumbee artist and mentor, assisted Reggie as he progressed into more complex pottery projects. Brewer’s works have been displayed at The Museum of the Southeast American Indian and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. As a word of advice to aspiring artists, he explains that having humility and respect towards your work, combined with the willingness to work with anyone, will help artists get their art into the public eye.
A message to today’s youth from Mr. Brewer: “Ground yourself in your spirituality and find that relationship with the Creator. See your peers as relatives and choose to uplift others around you. Have the humility to be a servant to your people and your community.” Mr. Brewer truly focuses on “walking in a Red Way”, and he is a positive role model for countless youth across Indian country.
Thorn Grove – UNITY Southeast Area Representative
Tribes: Onk Akimel O’odham/Tuscarora, North Carolina
Thorn is of the Onk Akimel O’odham and Tuscarora
Nations and resides in Garner, North Carolina. He is of
the Buzzard Clan, an avid hunter, and a student of mixed
martial arts. Thorn was accepted into the College of
Engineering at North Carolina State University, where
he plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in
mechanical engineering. Grounded in his culture and
with support from his family, friends, youth advisors,
and community; he is eager to connect with indigenous
youth across Indian Country. Through his service as the
Southeast Area Representative, he strives to build
relations and to incorporate all Indigenous youth within