Seminole Tribe of Florida

Mailing Address

6300 Stirling Road
Hollywood, FL 33024

Contact Information

800-683-7800

Website

http://www.seminoletribe.com/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

Many researchers say that the Seminole Tribe of Florida's colorful history can be traced 12,000 years ago. According to Willard Steele, the Seminole people are the remaining descendants of the Creek people. Their tribe is a fusion of several cultures as well as their language. In fact, their native tongue is composed of seven languages namely the Muscogee, Hitchiti, Koasati, Alabama, Natchez, Yuchi and Shawnee. This only proves the diversity of heritage.

It is said that before, the Apalache used to be Hitchiti speaking people almost related to the Creek Tamathli. During the Spanish time, this tribe was in the Apalachicola River until the sixteenth century when the Spanish attempted to conquer the tribe by sending several missions across Florida and Georgia. The missions to invade the Creek turned out to be a failure, yet some of the tribesmen were drawn to Florida.

During the 1760 the first Creek speakers decided to settle down in Chocochattee. These tribesmen then were cattlemen who soon became herds of the Seminole Nation. The greediness for land caused the conflicts between their neighbors. There were only 1,200 Seminoles as compared to the 25,000 of the Creeks in Georgia and Alabama.  Good thing, though, by 1823, the native population have increased thanks to the newcomers. It rose up to 5 thousand. However, the wars of 1812, the Creek War, The Creek Civil War, the First Seminole War, the Second Seminole War, the Scare of 1849-1850, and the Third Seminole War caused for the decline of the population. It was said that after the wars, only three hundred Seminoles were left and after the Third Seminole War, about 100 stayed alive.

Their relatively small population was both an advantage and a disadvantage. For one, the population thrived on smaller dwellings and lesser needs but there was a massive lack of manpower which could have caused a boost in the economy. This small population remained for yet another sixty years.

In 1907, the Department of Interior granted the tribe 540 acres of land near Danie. President Taft then also set aside several lands in Martin, Broward and Hendry Counties for the Seminoles so that in the year 1913, there was already 18 Indian reservations in Florida whose sizes range from 40 acres to 16,000. 

The reservation conflicts divided the Florida tribes into two the first one being for the Miccosukee Tribe who were more traditional and the second group who were the reason for the growth of the Seminole population again. 

The fifties were the decade of confusion, argument and rebirth for the Seminole people. It was in this year that their leaders had issues and on 1953, the United States Congress passed a legislation to cease the federal tribal programs. Of course, the Seminoles argued against it and won by drafting their first Tribal Constitution in 1957. It was then that they gained themselves their own authority and decided to put up the Tribe of Florida Incorporated whose main objective is to look after the needs of the tribe.

The Seminole today have casinos to support their economy. They also provide infrastructure for the community health, education, security and other services. The tribe continues to gain economic growth thanks to its agricultural products such as cattle and its business enterprises. The tribe is considered as one of the most successful tribes when it comes to business. 

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