What has become confusing for governmental bodies and municipalities is the comprehension of “Federal Recognition” , believing if a Tribe or Tribal Nation is not “Acknowledged” then they are not a “Real” tribe. This cannot be further from the truth as court cases clearly proves. What lacks in understanding is Federal recognition only allows tribes access to federal benefits and programs set aside for tribes in need of assistance, to operate their governments. In a recent Senate hearing it was cited:
“Federal recognition is the acknowledgement of an American Indian Tribe by the federal government of the United States. It affirms a federal trust responsibility for a “government-to government” relationship between the United States and the tribal government and establishes tribal eligibility for certain federal American Indian programs."
Federal recognition is the correction of an error in the relationship between the United States and the tribal nation receiving the acknowledgement it was always due. Federal recognition does not bestow sovereignty, but acknowledges a tribe’s inherent sovereignty. Federal Indian Policy holds that American Indian Tribes have a sovereignty that predates the United States and is not bestowed by any federal action. Furthermore, while the trust responsibility is formally acknowledged by federal recognition, it exists even without such recognition. This fact was included in a 1977 congressional report citing the Pasamaquoddy v. Morton case:
Pasamaquoddy v. Morton presented an important decision regarding the executive branch use of the distinction “recognized” and “non-recognized”. The Department stipulated for the purpose of the case that the Passamaquoddy were an Indian tribe, but argued that it was not required as a trustee to prosecute the Passamaqoddy claim against the State of Maine, since the tribe was“unrecognized”. The Court rejected the [Department of Interior’s] position finding that that the United States has a trust obligation to the tribe. The case makes it clear that the executive branch cannot arbitrarily exclude Indian tribes from its trust relationship.”
Another issue for the Yamassee Indian Tribe has been the lack of understanding to the Identity of the Yamassee. Lack of education hinders those without historical references to comprehend certain facts to certain tribes that established this Great State of South Carolina. The “Yamassee War of 1715” was the most historical turning point for the State of South Carolina. Not only was it a turning point, it was a great moment for “ Black History” which is not commonly advertised or mentioned.
In a Quote cited from the Congressional serial set United States Government Printing Office
57th Congress 1st Session. House of Representatives Document 179 Report of the Industrial Commission on Agriculture and Agricultural labor Washington Government printing Office
Year 1901, page 824.
"Yamasee Indians were Negroes, what were known afterwards as the fiercest of the Indians tribes of the South- the well known Yamasee Indians were Africans”
What is not also pointed out is that the Yamassee were proven to have been here before the continental drift happened and the Land mass was considered one called by the Greeks “ Pan Gia”. The Purpose by providing this information is mainly because it has been purported and rumored by some we are just “ Black” and anyone can be a Indian, if they are. This cannot be further from the truth and becomes an insult to our Tribe, only because ignorance is the determining factor behind that type of thinking.
For reference we are the only tribe in history clearly Identified by congress, and history books.