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Two NC Natives named to commission posts

Kerry Bird and Quinn Godwin were appointed in July to leadership positions on the newly created North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission.

Bird (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and of Lumbee Tribe heritage), was named director. Godwin (Lumbee Tribe) was tabbed as associate director.

The commission was created in the 2021 State Budget Act. Its purpose is to “advise and assist the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of American Indian history, arts, customs, and culture,” according to a news release.

“The American Indian Heritage Commission under the leadership of Kerry Bird and Quinn Godwin will help realize this vision by ensuring that state-supported sites and resources preserve and promote American Indian culture and contributions to our state,” D. Reid Wilson, Department of Natural Cultural Resources secretary, said in the release.

Bird is president of the Triangle Native American Society. He is a former president of the National Indian Education Association.

“The Commission will bring visibility and recognition to North Carolina’s first peoples and create a greater understanding and appreciation for their rich cultures,” Bird said in the release.

Godwin has served as field coordinator for Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office of Public Engagement and Inclusion for the past four years.