Recognition of Native American Indian tribes acknowledges the right of sovereignty and self government. There are two levels of recognition: federal and state. At the federal level, recognition puts tribal governments at the same level as state governments with their rights to tax, make and enforce laws, and regulate activities. At the state level of recognition, tribal governments are equal to county governments. Recognition, at either level, allows for tribes to determine requirements for membership.
A Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) serves as the State Historic Preservation Office on federally recognized tribal lands. THPOs are designated by the National Park Service as formal participants in the national preservation program.
The SC State Historic Preservation Office has made a good faith effort to identify federally recognized Indian tribes with historic affiliation to the state. The list of tribes at the bottom of this page is based on known federal agency efforts and tools to identify and consult with tribes with an interest in SC. If your tribe would like to be added to or removed from this list please contact us.
Of the tribes listed, the Catawba Indian Nation is the only resident federally recognized Indian tribe in South Carolina. Several of the tribes, including the Catawba Indian Nation, have a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). Visit the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers website or the National Congress of American Indians website to find more information for tribal governments.
It is a federal agency’s responsibility to identify pertinent Indian tribes and approach them regarding their interest in consultation. Visit the website of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for additional information about consulting with Indian tribes in the Section 106 process.
State of South Carolina Recognized Native American Indian entities:
Pursuant to SC Code of Laws Section 1-31-40(A)(10) and SC Code of Regulations Chapter 139, the State of South Carolina recognizes three categories of Native American Indian entities in South Carolina: Native American Indian Tribes, Native American Indian Groups, and Native American Indian Special Interest Organizations.
Federal agencies could identify these entities as additional consulting parties (36 CFR 800.2(c)(5)) and invite them to participate in Section 106 consultation. For more information see the Advisory Council’s Guide to Working with Non-Federally Recognized Tribes in the Section 106 Process.
Visit the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs website for additional information about Native American affairs and a list of state recognized Native American Indian entities. See also these specific consulting party requests from the Waccamaw Indian People and the Pine Hill Indian Tribe.
Federally Recognized Tribes:
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina
Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
Kialegee Tribal Town
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
Tuscarora Nation of New York
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma