South Carolina Holds First State Conference Dedicated to Native Americans

November 19, 2005

Source: The State

On November 19, 2005 The State reported, "The honor song began as a single stirring drum beat. Then one Native American voice joined another, as representatives of five newly recognized South Carolina tribes and groups were gathered Friday into the folds of an Honor Circle, a ceremony recognizing the sacred and enduring traditions of the state’s tribal communities. For Harold Hatcher, chief of the Waccamaws, the ceremony was long overdue and, momentarily, overwhelming. Tears streamed down his face as he accepted the framed state resolution from Janie Davis, executive director of the S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs. Hatcher has worked since 1992 for tribal recognition... Hatcher’s tribe, the Waccamaw Indian People of Conway, and the Pee Dee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina were formally recognized as tribes by the Legislature in February... To gain state recognition, a tribe must have at least a century-long presence in South Carolina and use a Native American form of government, among other things, said Barbara MorningStar Paul, conference organizer and program coordinator for the minority affairs commission... The event, the state’s first conference devoted to Native Americans, included sessions on issues from health care to community development and cultural and spiritual survival, as well as inspirational speakers and musicians."