The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO)

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Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 20, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

PRESS RELEASE: June 19th 2017


The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) has recently received a $1,700.00 grant from the St Joe Community Foundation to create an exhibit highlighting the history, identity, and culture of the area’s Florida Cheraw Indian people. The St Joe Community Foundation funds grants for such diverse areas as education, healthcare, the environment, and cultural arts. These are the areas of funding provide the greatest long-term returns for those that live, work and play in the communities of the panhandle. It has pledged and funded over $18 Million in grants to area nonprofits that care about Northwest Florida an believe that over time, such grants will continue to impact the quality of life in Northwest Florida for generations to come.

The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) is a local tribal organization that works for the political, social, and legal welfare of the (Eastern Siouan) Cheraw Indian people across the panhandle, and is focused on documenting historic archival research into the tribe’s history, fostering the communities unique cultural identity, and providing venues for communication, awareness, and growth of tribal members and the public alike. Today’s tribal members are descendants of the Indian people who lived in several Indian settlements from the 1830’s to the 1960’s whose history is documented in the 2010 book “The Indians of North Florida” by S. Pony Hill and C.S. Sewell, available on Amazon and at local libraries. Some surnames in the community Ayers, Barnwell, Bass, Blanchard, Brown, Bullard, Bunch, Brooks, Chason, Chavis, Conyers, Copeland, Davis, Goins, Hall, Harris, Hicks, Hill, Holly, Ireland, Jacobs, Johnson, Jones, Long, Lovett, Mainer, Martin, Mayo, Moses, Oxendine, Perkins, Porter, Potter, Quinn, Scott, Simmons, Smith, Stafford, Stephens, Sweat, Thomas, Whitfield, and Williams among others.

Historically, the Florida Cheraw people lived predominately in several small settlements; Scott Town in Jackson County, Scotts Ferry in southern Calhoun County, Woods (across the Apalachicola River in Liberty County), and Mt Zion/Simmonsville in Holmes County. Florida Cheraw were in the past sometimes known as “Dominickers”, and historically maintained a “third race” status during segregation between the 2 dominant races. The Florida tribal communities are culturally and genealogically connected to many of the Indian settlements in the Carolinas, as most of the ancestors of the Florida settlements migrated to the panhandle originally from the Catawba Indian reservation at Rock Hill, from the nearby Sumter Band of Cheraw in South Carolina as well as from communities of the Lumbee Tribe of Cheraw Indians in Robeson County North Carolina, during in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Apalachicola River Community of Indians began its annual Indian Community Conference in 1996 and it continues to provide a forum for addressing issues of concern to the panhandle Indian people. It is held at the WT Neal Civic Center in Blountstown Florida each spring and is open to the public. More information on the tribe’s history is found at, or contact ARCITO Vice Chairman H. Scott Sewell at (850) 254-5426 or at [email protected]


Media Officer Introduction

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 16, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Henci everyone. My Name is Niki Moon and I have recently been elected your new Media Officer which means, I will be serving as admin for this website as well as the Facebook page. I would just like to take a minute and thank you for this opportunity to serve all of you, and thank everyone who came to the Geneology Conference on June 11th. We had so much fun getting to meat everyone and put together a fabulous team to serve our awesome community. It is my fervent ambition to utilize this site and turn it into a very user friendly hub where everyone in our community can exchange information archives photographs, and contacts. Again I Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing everyone at our next event. Take Care and God Bless Cehecares (See You Later)

Niki Moon

2016 Genealogy Conference a Success

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (2)

We had about 25 people come out for genealogy work. we also seated 4 new council persons, Teresa and Niki Moon, heather fair, and Tammy Johnson, sworn in by Chairman Pony Hill.

Horizon - Broken Sky; released May 1, 2015 by S. Pony Hill (Author)

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on May 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

this is a fiction work by tribal chairman pony hill, its a great read and i encourage you guys to chec k it out...

Strange things were happening at Sequoyah High and Benjamin Braveboy was certain it all centered on this odd new student. Quiet, unassuming, she was easy for anyone to ignore. To him it was obvious camouflage, a way to be there but not be there, hiding in plain sight. Benjamin was suspicious that there was more to this girl than met the eye. How could he have known she guarded a secret that would reveal an ancient struggle to save an entire world, a timeless battle of light versus darkness, and that their love would lead to the death of one and the unearthly changing of the other?

We Will Always Be Here: Native Peoples on Living and Thriving in the South (Other Southerners) Hardcover ??? May 17, 2016 by Denise E. Bates (Editor)

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on May 3, 2016 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Just received a copy of the just released "We Will Always Be Here: Native People's On Living And Thriving In The South, and want to thank Denise Bates and the University Press of Florida for including me and allowing for the participation in such a distinguished work, to be able to talk about our life as a tribe in Florida and to share the heritage of our Cheraw and Creek people is an honor. The Apalachicola River Community of Indians is thankful for the help of so many such fine institutions that support us in preserving our history and heritage. Please get a copy of the just released work on Amazon. com if you can to support those people and fine institutions that support us in important work for the future generations!

the Apalachicola River Community of Indians has been in the process of reorganization

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on April 27, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

As some may know from the announcements at the 20th Annual Apalachicola River Indian Community Conference, the Apalachicola River Community of Indians has been in the process of reorganization of late; ARCI leadership from several communities have been working to recalibrate the tribal government (the Apalachicola River Community Indian Tribal Organization aka ARCITO), an effort which includes several major points:

-Update and continue work on our petition for federal recognition submitted to BIA in 2004

-Update our ARCI tribal roll, by-laws, and constitution

-Secure a land base and permanent council quarters by 2020

-Continue the cooperation with our related tribe, the Sumter Band of Cheraw Indians in Sumter, SC

Generally speaking requirements for enrollment are documented descent from the Indian people of Scott Town Community in Jackson County; Scotts Ferry (including Marysville and Cherokee settlements) in Calhoun County; Woods (primarily the Hill, Jacobs, and Oxendine families enclave) in Liberty County; and Mount Zion Community of Holmes County (in a corner of the southern part of the county west of the Choctawhatchee River, near the town of Ponce de Leon). The 1920 census is the principle document used for ancestral community definition, though others are considered. More info on the tribal history is in “The Indians of North Florida”, available on or from ARCITO free to tribal members.

The upcoming year will be one of hard work and intense cooperation together as the “housecleaning” and getting the council back in order continues. ARCITO will be holding its next quarterly general council meeting on June 11th at 2 pm at the WT Neal Civic Center in Blountstown which will be followed by a Genealogy Conference that afternoon. Please bring your documents, family photos, historic information, and questions to share. Our website will be up dated frequently with information on current ARCITO council meetings, ARCI tribal events, and (Kunfuskee Tallassee) ceremonial grounds activities, as well as our Facebook Page at and Apalachicola River Community of Indians tribal blog on WordPress at





Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on April 15, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

ARCITO TRIBAL REORGANIZATIONAL MEETING! May 14th 6 pm at Tribal Chairman Pony Hill house 267 Nelle St Apt A, Callaway...ill post a week or so before the itenarary. ...we will be catching up on where we are, please call me with any questions!

Thanks to all Conference participants! A Success!

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on April 15, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Friends

We would like to express our deep appreciation to you for your participation, insights, and contributions to the 20th Annual Apalachicola River Community Indian Community Conference; this gathering wouldn’t have been the same without you and we hope that the goals we set out to accomplish have been at least to some degree moved forward. The participation by people like you in the preservation of our treasured Native American culture through our community events is so important. We truly appreciate the time and effort you took to be there for the event and the fellowship which you shared with us. We look forward to sharing this time and fellowship in years to come. If there is anything we can do, please contact either of us at any time.

Sincerely ,

Christopher Hodalee Scott Sewell, Community Conference Coordinator