Ansley T. Ray, Jr. - White Eagle

Archived on 5/29/2017

  • Attention:  Tribal Business Owners  The South Carolina Minority Affairs Office (with the assistance of the Native American Advisory Committee) has compiled a Business Directory for businesses that are owned by registered members of state or federal American Indian tribe members in South Carolina.  For more information on getting listed in this directory, contact Chuck Scott or White Eagle for additional details.
  • The same committee is attempting to secure funding for some type of college scholarship fund for American Indian students who are graduating from high school.  The number of issues to be resolved makes it likely that it might finally be available to someone currently in preschool.  But, we are working on it so I thought to mention it.
  • A bill has been submitted to exempt members of state recognized American Indian Tribes from hunting and fishing license possession requirements.  This bill will also remove restrictions of the sale of cultural art items that contain the preserved remains from game animals.  The bill is currently in some committee's inbox with further action pending but not scheduled.  For the near future, plan to buy a new license when yours expires! :)
  • Adult GED Classes Interest being measured.  If you or someone you know is interested in attending GED classes, please contact me.  At this point, the names aren't even important if you wish to keep that secret but we are trying to determine the level of need.  Well, we know the need is there but we are wondering about how many would participate if classes and/or tutoring were to be made available, free of charge.  This link takes you to the Commission for Minority Affairs  website (which manages American Indian assistance programs as well as other minorities in South Carolina).  Follow this link to see what government programs you may be eligible for.  Remember, not only are you a member of a state recognized American Indian organization, you are also considered a minority and are eligible for most of the minority assistance programs that exists.  If you have any questions, please email me and I will attempt to get you an answer.  It is your right to take advantage of the programs that your status qualifies you for!

Ansley  joined the Sumter Tribe of Cheraw Indians in July 2013.  He is the son

of Ansley T. Ray, Sr. and Linda Inglett Ray.  He is a graduate of Cardinal

Newman High School and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geological

Sciences from The University of South Carolina. He served six years in the South

Carolina Air National Guard and is a Past Master of the Lower Richland Masonic

Lodge.  He is an avid hunter and enjoys fishing with friends and relatives.  He currently resides in Hopkins, South Carolina.  

Elaine Oxendine Miller - Flaming Red Feather

The Sumter Tribe of Cheraw Indians

Elaine is the daughter of Andrew(grandson of Charles Oxendine) and Martha Oxendine. She was born and raised in Sumter County, SC and attended Sumter County Schools. She has been happily married to Dana Miller for 38 years. She has 2 grown sons, Brandon and Jason. They are married to 2 beautiful ladies, her daughters, Veronica and June. She also has a beautiful granddaughter, Autumn. She is a graduate of the University of SC and has been a nurse for 36 years. She works at Tuomey Hospital here in Sumter. She loves the Lord and tries to live daily for him. She is proud of her Native American ancestry and was thrilled to have it proven! She is honored and humbled to serve as a Tribal Council Member for The Sumter Tribe of Cheraw Indians.

During the recent cultural celebration, a fellow American Indian graciously donated a collection of artifacts to the Tribe.  A special thanks to Jim Brown for his generosity.  He communicated his wish that these items find a home where they would be appreciated and displayed with respect and honor. 

Though the day dawned cloudy and cool, the hardy float decorating gang braved the elements and transformed White Eagle's plain but drab utility trailer into a colorful masterpiece of a parade float.  From the ceremonial drum on the front, to the contemporary tree decorated with culturally themed ornamentation, the float was a shining example of the wonderful results achieved when our people are willing to pull together to work toward a common goal.  The culturally relevant regalia crafted and worn by the float escorts added a vibrant touch to the parade.  A big Cheraw "thank you" goes out to those who contributed and worked so hard to make this float a reality.  It is certain that this float would have won the Best American Indian themed float award if one were presented! 

Vicky Carrigan

Vicky is the daughter of W.G.(Doc)Scott and Esther Hair Scott.  She attended Clarendon county schools & graduated from Manning High School.  She received a degree from Sumter school of Practical Nursing in 1980 and worked  at Tuomey Mediçal Center for approx 17 years & at Sumter Surgical Associates for approximately 13 years. Vicky says, "during my time as a nurse I truly loved caring for my patients and their families. After 3 years at Tricounty Home Health I retired in 2009. My fellow Native American Family has been a blessing for me in this last year. Learning more about our heritage everyday is a true blessing from God our savior. In all things Jesus is our great chief. I am so proud of my heritage."

Welcome to The Sumter Tribe of Cheraw Indians' website.  

The quarterly general membership meeting was conducted on November 12 at Heath Pavilion.  The turnout was light when compared to the number of members listed on our roles.  Most of the usual participants were in attendance, along with some folks from out of town.  Several members received their traditional names.  A couple of comments were made concerning the need for more participation by active members at meetings such as these.  Also, when neighboring tribes hold gatherings, it would benefit us as a Tribe and as individuals to make an effort to attend.  The rituals and traditions were a joy to watch and learn about.  Some of those folks put a lot of effort into their regalia and they are entertaining to see.  The connections and experience we gain at these events will benefit us in the future when we acquire tribal property and attempt to host similar events.  I ask that anyone with information or news that needs to be communicated to the membership, contact me at     

   It is with sadness and regret that we bid farewell to a wonderful and caring member of our family, Carrie Lee Scott Ardis.  The Lord welcomed her to paradise on December 10, 2017.  .Our deepest condolences to her family.  On December 13th, visitation will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. at Stephens Funeral Home in Manning, S.C.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was blessed to know her.

Christmas Parade Float

With a Tribal Flavor!

From November 16, 2017 post. 

      Happy Veterans Day!  A huge THANK YOU to the men and women who have served or who are currently serving in our incomparable Armed Forces.  Your sacrifices are truly appreciated by those that know what it means to serve.  It is our prayer and wish that you are granted the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that your service makes possible.  God speed and God Bless you and your families.  At our recent cultural event, Chief Hatcher of the Waccamaw Tribe mentioned that American Indians has the largest proportional membership in the US Armed Forces than any other ethnic group in America.  Be proud of your heritage and the role we gladly fill in protecting our liberty. 

     Nominations have been submitted to the Tribal Council for the members of the next Tribal Council.  The voting for Tribal Council positions will take place on December 9th.  Check the Upcoming Events section for further details.

    We are currently attempting to organize our email address listings for members of the Tribe.  Please email me at if you have not received an email from the Tribe in the last 3 months.  

  If you have noticed that previously posted stories have been removed, fear not.  The texts of the stories have been moved to the ARCHIVES page of the site.  Pending Tribal Council approval, the tentative plan is to create a link to our photo inventory and include it on that page as well. 

       I ask that anyone with information or news that needs to be communicated to the membership, contact me at     

The General Membership Meeting will be held on December 9th at 2pm at the Sumter County Library at 111 Harvin Street, Sumter, SC.  Anyone that is able to attend is encouraged to do so.  This will be your opportunity to be heard.  The Tribal Council election will take place during this meeting.  If you wish to vote or participate in the discussions concerning the Tribe's business or future activities, please make it a point to attend this meeting. 

"The Sumter Native American Indian Festival" that took place at the Sumter County Museum was a HUGE success. We would like to express our gratitude to the members of the Tribe, their families and friends of the Tribe, whose volunteer efforts made this event such a wonderful experience.  A special thank you to the Edisto River Singers, Chief Hatcher, the dancers and those who  attended in regalia whose presence and talents gave our event a feel of authenticity that would not have been possible without them. The artwork illuminated the talent of our people.  The pictures on display invoked a sense of tradition and nostalgia about those who endured the difficulties of being an Indian in a less enlightened time.  I truly feel sorry for those who were unable to attend. They missed a very touching and enlightening event.  We would also like to thank the Sumter County Cultural Commission for their event grant and for arranging permission to stage the event at the museum.  Trust me when I tell you that it was nice to be able to display the crafts and pictures indoors.  It was a little chilly outside.

Thanks also to all of those who took the time to join us in our cultural celebration.  Your contributions and interest were essential ingredients in the success of the Sumter Native American Indian Cultural Festival.

This project was partially funded through a grant by the Sumter County Cultural Commission which receives support from the John and Susan Bennett Arts Fund of the Coastal Community foundation of SC, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


*  Our Tribe is officially a non-profit organization!  Any profits realized during any sponsored events are to benefit the Tribe.  Recouping investments are not considered as realizing profits.  Donations (if you care to help fund The Tribe's activities} are now tax deductible.  Forms are available through any Tribal Council Member.