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More Facts About Native American Nations in the Southeast

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.



Southeastern Indigenous Peoples

The Southeastern quadrant of America has seen substantial contact between Native American groups and Europeans and other immigrants for several centuries.

As native populations moved eastward from the Pacific Northwest and California long ago, they began to encounter immigrants and were driven back across the Mississippi River in many instances. This was especially notable after passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1890 that operated decades. In fact, the presidential administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson unsuccessfully promoted legislation that would have disbanded all Native American nations, tribes, and other groups and force them to accept only the identity of U.S. Citizens.

In other instances, native peoples died by illnesses brought in by European immigrants. The national population of Native Americans began growing again in the 1990s and is over 2,000,000 as of 2021. This is still less than 1% of the total American population.

The American Southeast

The American Southeast

The states listed below are home to more state-recognized nations than to federally-recognized tribes or nations and this type of state support came only as recently in 2005 to 2006 for several of them.

Whatever the nature of this circumstance, it has resulted in a long struggle for Naïve Americans' rights and dignity. Once believed to be non-human by Europeans and Euro-Americans, the indigenous peoples have persevered.

Some U. S. states have little or no native populations. For instance, what happened to the Native Americans in West Virginia? Are they all unrecognized, or have they died or moved on? The answer is uncertain.

Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky - Great Hill at Hebbardsville, Kentucky.

Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky - Great Hill at Hebbardsville, Kentucky.

Important Southeastern U.S. Groups


  • Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky. The State of Kentucky recognized this nation twice: 1) by proclamation in 1893 and 2) by Governor Fletcher on 20 November 20, 2006. The Southern Cherokee is a Separate and Independent Country of Laws and is recognized as such in the "The Treaty with the Cherokee of 1866,"

Other Native Groups in Kentucky:

  • Cherokee Nation. Claimed land in SE Kentucky. Cherokee culture was found in archaeological remains along the Cumberland River. They may have been just "passing through" or on a forced march.However, evidence has surfaced that the Cherokee were originally related to natives in the Iroquois Confederation and broke away as they moved southward. Elvis Presley was partially Cherokee, one grandmother being a full blood Cherokee.
  • Chickasa. West end of Kentucky, primarily at the Tennessee River.
  • Mosopelea. Passing through on their way from Ohio to the lower Mississippi.
  • Shawnee. Nashville, KY and Lexington, KY where Shawnee Chief Blackhoof was born..
  • Yuchi. On the Green River.


  • American Indian Association of Millington TN
  • Elk Valley Band / Council of Chickamauga Cherokee
  • Chickamauga Circle Free Cherokee
  • Chikamaka-Cherokees
  • Free Cherokee Tennessee River Band Chickamauga
  • Kwatani Mission of Chickamuga Cherokee
  • Tennessee River Band of Chickamauga Cherokee
  • Tennessee River Band of Chickamauga

Virginia [None in West Virginia]

  • Ani-Stohini/Unami Nation
  • Chickahominy Tribe
  • Eastern Chickahominy Tribe
  • Monacan Indian Tribe
  • Nansemond Indian Tribe
  • Pamunkey Indian Tribe
  • Rappahannock Tribe

Chickahominy Grass Dance (Virginia, WVa)

Former West Virginia Native American Groups

West Virginia has been a home to nations of the Cherokee (related to the Mohawk), Conoy, Delaware, Honniasont, Huron, Mingo, Moneton, Ottawa, Seneca, Shawnee, Sioux, Susquehannock, Tuscarora, and Wyandot (forced out of Ohio).

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Moneton Nation

What happened to the Moneton? In West Virginia, the Moneton people likely lived along the Kanawha River for a time before moving onward. This group was related to Sioux Nation bands and the Sioux language group.

The Moneton probably were driven out of what is now West Virginia to Virginia by a lack of resources and the oncoming of other immigrant settlers. While they were in West Virginia, they likely enjoyed the scenic areas of the landscape, notably sites such as Goley Bridge and what is now Hawk's Nest State Park as they moved along.

Grave Creek Mound, WVa Natives

North Carolina

All groups in North Caroline are State-Recognized only.

  • Coharie Intra-Tribal Council
  • Cumberland County Association for Indian People
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - Related to the Mohawk Nation, having splintered away from the Iroquois Confederation and moved southward.
  • Guilford Native American Association
  • Haliwa-Saponi Tribe
  • Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
  • Meherrin Indian Tribe
  • Metrolina Native American Association
  • Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation
  • Sappony or Saponi
  • S-Que-Wi People of North Carolina
  • Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe

Historical Group Still Living In North Carolina

  • A group of approximately 250 descendants of the Croatan Band live just 17 miles southeast of Greenville NC. The current residents are descended from the Roanoke Lost Colony and many are of mixed English-Croatan heritage.

Cherokee Reservation

"Indian Reservation"

Words and Music by John D. Loudermilk.

Performed by Paul Revere and the Raiders

They took the whole Cherokee nation

Put us on this reservation

Took away our ways of life

The tomahawk and the bow and knife


Took away our native tongue

And taught their English to our young

And all the beads we made by hand

Are nowadays made in Japan


Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe

So proud to live, so proud to die


They took the whole Indian nation

Locked us on this reservation

Though I wear a shirt and tie

I'm still part redman deep inside


Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe

So proud to live, so proud to die


But maybe someday when they learn

Cherokee nation will return, will return, will return, will return, will return...

South Carolina

  • American Indian Center of South Carolina
  • Beaver Creek Indians. State Recognized in 2006.
  • Catawba Indian Nation. Only Federally Recognized Tribe in the State.Location: 996 Avenue of the Nations Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730.
  • Catawba Tribal Historic Preservation Office.
  • Chaloklowa Chickasaw Indian People. State Recognized in 2005.
  • Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (migrated West)
  • Chicora Indian Tribe of South Carolina
  • Chicora Siouan (Shakori) Indian People
  • Cherokee Tribes of South Carolina: The Eastern Cherokee, the Southern Iroquois, and the United Tribes of S.C. Inc. -- State Recognized in 2005.
  • Croatan Indian Tribe of Orangeburg
  • Edisto Indian Organization
  • Free Cherokee/Chickamauga
  • Midlands Intertribal Empowerment Group of Columbia, Richland County
  • Pee Dee Indian Tribe. State Recognized 2005
  • Pee Dee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina. State Recognized 2005
  • Piedmont American Indian Association
  • Lower Eastern Cherokee Nation of South Carolina. State Recognized 2006
  • Santee Indian Organization. State Recognized 2006
  • Santee Indian Nation
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (migrated West)
  • Waccamaw Indian People. State Recognized 2005
  • Wassamasaw Tribe of Varnertown Indians. State Recognized 2005
  • Midlands Intertribal Empowerment Group/Midlands Intertribal Indian Center


  • American Indian Studies at The Ohio State University.
  • Inglish, P. Native American Nations of the Southeastern United States., accessed July 15, 2021.
  • Inglish, P. Chinese Soldiers Who Fought in the American Civil War for the Union and the Confederacy., accessed July 14, 2021.
  • National Geographic. Southeast Native American Groups.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS

Comments and Additions

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on December 21, 2009:

Nice job. Don White

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 14, 2009:

Fritz - Thanks for the reference. If you are connected with the book and can get a copy to me, I'll be glad to review it and post the review to let people know about it. Email me at the "Contact' option in the upper right side bar. Thanks.

fritz zimmerman on August 14, 2009:

Now available is a new publication entitled, "A Photographic Essay and Guide to the Adena Hopewell Sioux and Iroquois Mounds and Earthworks" It is avaiable at Itasca books. 222 mound and earthwork sites were photographed and directions provided in Ohio,Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan. Overwhelming evidence is presented that the the Hopewell were Sioux along with the kindred tribes of Cherokee and Iroquois. Analysis of the measurments of the earthworks reveals that the Adena and Hopewell had knowledge of complex mathamatics that included the formulations of pi and square roots.

The future for the mounds and earthworks is to restore, protect and return them to the Native Americans.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 17, 2007:

Thank you - my pleasure!

Aman deep Garg on December 17, 2007:

gr8 hub.thanks a lot.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 17, 2007:

Thanks so much. I really like the song lyrics. So much happened in this country!

gabriella05 from Oldham on December 17, 2007:

Hi Patty another amazing hub, every thing about it is fantastic

Thank you very much

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