Federal Recognition – According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, federal recognition means that tribes "have a special, legal relationship with the United States government. This relationship is referred to as a government-to-government relationship...wherein no decisions about their lands and people are made without their consent." For more detailed information on relations between Indian tribes and the United States government, see the Bureau of Indian Affairs and for a listing of the tribes, see the Bureau of Indian Affairs list of federally-recognized tribes.
State Recognition – State recognition of tribes varies but is generally similar to federal recognition in that it acknowledges the right of tribes to govern themselves. Twelve states recognize Indian tribes, including South Carolina by legislation signed in 2003.