In the News
Photo Credit: Native American South Carolina Archives (NASCA)
The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs was created in 1993 by the General Assembly to provide the citizens of the State with a single point of contact for information regarding the State’s minority population.
In 2001, the Native American Affairs Ad Hoc Committee was created and housed at the Commission with the goal of establishing an Indian Affairs Commission for the State of South Carolina through collaboration with the Commission. Through the hard work and dedication of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Commission’s statute was changed adding the Native American Affairs Initiative under the duties of the Commission. Since 2003, the Commission has been committed to strengthening the relationships between South Carolina’s Native American Indian communities and government.
The Commission carries out it’s duties under Chapter 31, Title 1 of the SC Code of Laws of 1976, Section 1-31-40(A)(6)(10) and Chapter 139, Article 1 of the Code of Regulations which include but are not limited to the following:
All Native American citizens of South Carolina and their communities will be treated equitably and see economic prosperity through recognition, policy changes, collaboration, educational initiatives, and increased public awareness of the significant contributions that Native Americans have made to South Carolina’s rich cultural heritage.
To establish the framework to ensure social equity and economic prosperity for all Native American Indian citizens throughout the state of South Carolina through policy change, education, and increased awareness.
SC Commission for Minority Affairs Recognizes Native American Heritage Month
The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs is commemorating Native American Heritage Month with a social media campaign highlighting the culture, history and contributions of Native Americans throughout the month of November.
The virtual celebration includes information on Native American history, spotlights on tribes and businesses in the state, and more. To view the month-long celebration, visit the agency's Facebook or Instagram pages.
“We encourage all citizens to take time to engage with this educational experience to learn about the unique challenges Native Americans have faced and how tribal nations are working to conquer these challenges today,” said SC Commission for Minority Affairs Executive Director Dr. Delores Dacosta.
The Native American Affairs Division of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs serves as South Carolina’s official Native American Affairs agency working with Native American Indians to address issues of poverty and socio-economic deprivation through collaboration with government and private partners.
Since 2003, the Commission has been committed to strengthening the relationships between South Carolina’s Native American Indian communities and government.
For more information on Native American Heritage Month, visit www.cma.sc.gov.
Celebrate Native American Heritage Every Month
For Native Americans, October and November can be busy and emotionally taxing months as these are when Columbus / Indigenous Peoples Day and Halloween (where so many still decide to use Native American culture as a costume) are held. Native American Heritage Month begins the day after Halloween and is essentially wrapped up by Thanksgiving (another culturally complicated holiday). Additionally, all of this takes place against the backdrop of football season, which means Native American mascots and the ongoing tension related to them.
While, like all cultures, Native American history is filled with pain, frustration and mourning, it is also a time of celebration, reflection, and education. It is important to remember that issues facing contemporary American Indians do not disappear once November ends. As such, do not let November be the only time of year that our nation’s first inhabitants and stewards of this land are remembered. We must celebrate Native American cultures and heritages in November and every other month of the year!
Here are some resources we found to help you celebrate Native American heritage and resilience in November and every other month of the year:
You can find all of the websites and contact information for State Recognized entities here: https://cma.sc.gov/minority-population-initiatives/native-american-affairs/south-carolinas-recognized-native-american-indian-entities
Be sure to check the Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina, Lancaster: https://sc.edu/about/system_and_campuses/lancaster/study/student_opportunities/native_american_studies_center/index.php
The Commission for Minority Affairs also has various resources and upcoming events listed: https://cma.sc.gov/our-events
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has information and virtual events: https://americanindian.si.edu/
The National Congress of American Indians: https://www.ncai.org/
The Native Learning Center offers free webinars and other learning opportunities: https://www.nativelearningcenter.com/
The My Tribal Area data tool allows easy access to select demographic and economic statistics for each of the nation’s tribal areas. This data comes from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, and include statistics on population, jobs, housing, economy, and education.
My Tribal Area provides comprehensive maps, data profiles and downloadable features for each tribal area.