WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC) on Tuesday introduced a bill which would federally recognize a Lowcountry Native American tribe.

The focus of the bill is the Natchez-Kusso Tribe — widely known as the ‘Edisto’ Tribe — whose members have lived in the Lowcountry for centuries.

Colonial records dating back to the 1600s make many references to the Kusso tribe, describing the frequent and sometimes violent interactions between settlers and the Native Americans.

The Natchez came later, leaving Cherokee Territory “seeking the protection of the English.”

Currently, most members live in the communities of ‘Creeltown’ and ‘Four Holes’ located in Colleton and Dorchester Counties.

Mace said that the introduction of the legislation, which comes during Native American Heritage Month, “is a long overdue first step in granting recognition this Lowcountry tribe deserves.”