Hillsborough, NC (March 2, 2023) A community tribute to John Blackfeather Jeffries (1939-2023) will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 2:00pm – 3:45 pm at the Jerry M. Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough. Free parking is available. 

Hosting the event is the non-profit group, Spirt Freedom, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, and the Orange County Visitors Bureau. The tribute is open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.  In addition to a formal program, the public will be encouraged to share remarks.

In the late 1990s, Jeffries built by hand a replica Occaneechi village in Hillsborough, near where his ancestors once lived. Today, a new replica village exists. For over five years, tribal members worked with community volunteers, Hillsborough and Orange County staff, and the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough to reconstruct the Occaneechi Replica Village in River Park. 

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Johnny for his tenacity in preserving the legacy of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, and for his willingness and eagerness to pass along his knowledge and wisdom to younger generations. He caused us to recognize and appreciate the Indigenous People that once populated and stewarded the land we now know as Orange County and North Carolina.” said Rep. Renée Price, co-founder of Spirit Freedom.

The death of Jeffries compelled NC Governor Roy Cooper to order all North Carolina flags at state facilities to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, in honor of Jeffries.


2:00 p.m. Refreshments
2:30 p.m. Remembrance and Reflection
3:45 p.m. Conclusion 

More about the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation can be found at https://obsn.org/ 


Representative Renee Price, reneeprice2012@gmail
Laurie Paolicelli, Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau lpaolicelli@visitchapelhill.org, (919) 259-1658