Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Seminole Tribe of Florida

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is a tribe that lives and survives in south Florida. The Spanish left the Seminole nation largely alone and it was only when the Spanish ceded Florida to the English in 1763 that the Seminole had to fight for their land. After Jackson rises to power and crosses into Florida in 1816 the Seminole fight to retain their land, eventually signing the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in which the Seminole gave up 28 million acres, retaining only 4 million. About 3,000 Seminole were forced westwards along the trail of tears to Oklahoma. In 1858 after another war the US abandons plans to remove all Seminole from south Florida and since 1890 the Seminoles have been trading peacefully with the whites.

The Seminole Tribe today still resides in south Florida and after gaining federal status in 1957, has turned itself into a multi-million dollar tribe. They became the official mascot of Florida State University in 1947.  After receiving $10 million from the government in 1992, they have benefitted from zero taxation on tobacco sales and have taken advantage of the gambling laws to build casinos and hotels on their reservation in Hollywood, Florida. In 1996 the tribal budget exceeded $100 million. As well as the casinos and Hotels the Seminoles have an Indian school, museum and swamp safari.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is an example of what can happen when you have good leadership and how the Native American tribes cannot just survive, but prosper within American society. However within the Seminole tribe there is still problems, many refused money from the government in 1992 and are challenging the tribes activities, saying they are no longer true Natives as they have taken to American societies customs and beliefs and that they only hold on to their culture as a tourist attraction.

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