The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO)

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The Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians of Florida Informational Narrative

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on July 14, 2017 at 12:35 AM

The Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians of Florida

The Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians are the modern descendants of the Eastern Siouan Indian people (including Catawba, Cheraw, and Lumbee) who migrated from the Carolinas to Florida’s panhandle as early as the 1820’s. The ancestors of the tribe are identified as “Free People of Color” before the Civil War and as one of several “American isolate” unique racial groups afterwards. These are common surnames historically associated with the tribal community: Ammons Ayers Barnwell Bass Bennett Bird Blanchard Boggs Brown Bullard Bunch Bryant Brooks Chason Chavis Conyers Copeland Davis Doyle Goins Hall Harris Hicks Hill Holly Ireland Jacobs Johnson Jones Kever Long Lovett Mainer Martin Mayo Moses Oxendine Perkins Porter Potter Quinn Scott Simmons Smith Stafford Stephens Sweat Thomas Whitfield and Williams.

Historically, the Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians lived predominately in several small settlements at Scott Town in Jackson County, Scotts Ferry in southern Calhoun County, and Woods across the Apalachicola River in Liberty County, and Mt Zion in Holmes County. These communities were similar to many of the Indian settlements in the Carolinas and most of the ancestors of the Indian people in the Florida settlements migrated to the panhandle originally came from Union and Sumter Counties in South Carolina and Robeson County in North Carolina, during in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

These settlements faced persecution under the racial miscegenation laws of the Jim Crow Era, a situation which would last until the desegregation of American society a century later. The people of these communities would constantly have to fight prejudiced local authorities and institutional racism to maintain their identities, as documented in the hundreds of archival records which identify these persons race as "Indian", via dozens of court cases and school board records, military enlistments, and tax records. Formally established in 2003 as a 501c3, the Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) was created to provide services for the Florida panhandle area Indian communities. ARCITO’s Annual Indian Community Conference (ARCITO-AICC), began in 1996, is a free open to the public event which focuses on gathering information on the needs of the Native American population as well as surrounding communities and devising, implementing, and executing responses to these.

ARCITO Tribal Chairman S. Pony Hill; [email protected] (850) 597-5034

ARCITO Vice Chairman H.C. Scott Sewell [email protected] (850) 254-5426


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