Event celebrates Native Americans
November 22, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson hosted chiefs from three different local tribes during its annual Native American Heritage Month Luncheon at the Officers' Club Friday. Representatives from the South Carolina-based Catawba, Beaver Creek and Edisto tribes came to share information about their histories and futures with the Jackson community.
Chief William Harris of the Catawba Tribe, who was the keynote speaker, spoke about the importance of history in moving forward.
"Since Fort Jackson took time to create this event, it was important for me to come today," Harris said. "We have a strong history in the state, just like this base does."
The Catawba is a federally recognized tribe that has tribal lands near Rock Hill. In 1993, the tribe reached a settlement agreement with the state of South Carolina that allows the Catawbas to have approximately 1,000 acres of sovereign land.
"The agreement allows us to form our own laws, but we are still subject to the laws for this state," Harris said. "For example, we can establish our own schools and would love to build them in the future. We are moving toward self-sufficiency."
Chief Louie Chavis of the Beaver Creek tribe brought items used by his people in their everyday lives, such as a stone used to mold moccasins. Chief Anthony Davidson of the Edisto tribe showcased his handmade commercial regalia and headdress used in powwows.
"This was a wonderful event, some good education went on here today," said Davidson. "I was glad to be a part of it."