The Coharie Indians in North Carolina have been recognized as an official tribe by the state legislature since 1971 and are represented on the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. The tribal name is derived from the two Coharie Creeks and the Coharie River, all of which flow through Sampson County. The Coharie's history is similar to that of the Lumbee Indians, with whom they have many ties. Community members built the first Indian school in Sampson County in 1859. State funds were used for a separate Indian school in 1911, but for the most part their Indian schools were supported by private subscriptions from the community.
Despite a long history of group unity, Coharie tribal structure developed relatively late. The Sampson County Indian Organization, formed in 1969, was the forerunner of the modern-day Coharie tribe, which was established in 1971. The tribe sponsors an annual powwow and administers both educational and housing programs. There were approximately 1,500 Indians, most of them Coharies, living in Sampson and Harnett Counties in the early 2000s.
George E. Butler, The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina: Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools (1916).
Ruth Y. Wetmore, First on the Land: The North Carolina Indians (1975).
Official Website: http://www.coharietribe.org/
1 January 2006 | Wetmore, Ruth Y.