Sunday, 19 February 2012

Native American - Seminole of Florida

The website that I have chosen is for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The first thing that you are advised of when going on the website is that they are a federally recognised Indian tribe and that they are the only tribe in America who never signed a peace treaty.

Through the site you get to learn about the tribes history and you get the option to view a brief summary or a time line. The brief summary is written by someone called Williard Steele and goes on to state that the Seminole people are descendants from Creek people and that the tribe is very diverse as the members speak 7 languages which are Muscogee, Hitchiti, Koasati, Alabama, Natchez, Yuchi and Shawnee. It then details where the Creeks settled and then describing events that followed them settling such as the Creek War (1813-1814), The Creek Civil War (1813) and the First, Second and Third Seminole Wars.

The Time line option is another way to view their history and this is very useful and one of the key pieces of information that i got was the information for the 2nd Seminole war and it says that '5,000 Seminoles fight off the US Army, Navy and Marines and approx 3,000 natives removed to Oklahoma reservations with the US spending $40million and finally quits fighting' - This was between 1835 and 1842 and in 1845 Florida becomes the 27th state in the USA.

You are also able to get a full introduction which goes in to more detail about the tribe and describes how the Europeans brought with them new diseases that killed thousands of these indigenous peoples. There is also a lot of reference to the Spanish as until 1821 - Florida was still under their government. There is also a chapter on Indian resistance and removal of the Seminole people, starting before and lasting 20 years longer that the 'Trail of Tears' which is when several thousand Cherokee people were sent on a death march.

The website also has a chapter on their culture and describes their art, basketry, bead work, Chickee (architecture), clans, hairstyles, dolls, food, recipes, language, clothing, medicine and legends. They also have a government section which is how they operate and today their council administrates the Tribal Gaming enterprises. Along with this they talk about tourism that they provide as the tribe employs more than 2,000 non-Indians and purchases more than $24million in goods and services from more that 850 Florida vendors plus the tribe pays $3.5million in federal payroll taxes. They also have more contiguous reservations than any other tribe in North America being Tampa, Brighton, Fort Pierce, Big Cypress, Immokalee and Hollywood. They also provide services with their Aviation Department, Building Inspections Dept, Broadcasting Dept, Education Services, Environmental Resource Management, Health Dept, Housing Dept, Tribal Library System Services and Veterans Building.

The website provides a lot of information on the Seminoles history, culture, business and services and they also have their own newsletter which goes out and all the archives are available on their site.

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