South Carolina tribes seek true population count

South Carolina is home to about 31,000 American Indians, or 0.3 percent of the state population, but tribal leaders say there are more to be counted.

Roosevelt Scott, the chief of the Santee Tribe, kept his Indian identity to himself until the 1970s. But now that the state has recognized a handful of tribes, he hopes people will stand up and be counted as Indian.

Barbara Morningstar Paul, from the state Commission for Minority Affairs, said illiteracy, a distrust of outsiders, fear and a distrust of outsiders leads Indians to avoid claiming their heritage. Louie Chavis, the chief of the Beaver Creek Tribe, said Indians were forced to assimilate.

Get the Story:
Tribes want true population count (The State 11/20)

Relevant Links:
South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs - http://www.state.sc.us/cma

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