Counties of Residence: Halifax,
The Haliwa-Saponi people are
descendants of the Saponi, Tuscarora, Occaneechee, Tutelo, and
Nansemond Indians. In the 1700s these five tribes merged, gradually
settling in an area known as the meadows, where the Haliwa-Saponi
tribe lives today. During the 1800s the Jeremiah Church became the
focal point for the tribe, serving as an educational and social
In the 1950s the tribe adopted
the name Haliwa, combining the names of its two home counties. It
added Saponi to its name on the state charter in 1979. In 1957 the
Haliwa-Saponi established a school for children in grades 1–12, the
only tribally controlled school recognized by North Carolina at the
time. In 1969 the state’s desegregation plan forced the school to
close. Since that time the building has served as a community center.
Today it also houses the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal Charter School.