It's Founders Month here in Florida, and of course we will continue to recognize those men and women who played a role in the establishment of this country of ours, but this state of Florida ALSO has Founders, and let's take a few minutes and recognize perhaps one of the most important groups that have played a role in Florida's history and development (and continue to), the Seminole Indians.
The Seminoles are more than a group Andrew Jackson struggled to defeat, or the name of Florida State's sports teams. As the Seminoles themselves declare, they never signed a peace treaty with the federal government of the United States. There history in what is now Florida and the southeastern United States dates back thousands of years, and their people and culture have undergone tremendous challenges over the course of the development of Florida. By the time in 1842 that President John Tyler declared an end to federal efforts at forcing the Seminoles to sign a peace a treaty, the people of this indigenous community, which also welcomed both escaped slaves and free blacks, had suffered a great deal, and would struggle into the 20th century.
But the story of the Seminoles cannot be allowed to end with reference to their struggles in the 20th century. Rather, these Founders of Florida have maintained a thriving, multiracial, and active culture, and grown both economically and politically successful as a community a result of the establishment of the gaming industry and strong leadership of a variety of members of the Seminole Nation.
This post has only scratched the surface of the Seminole people, who have played such an important role in our state history and culture. You can learn a great deal more about Seminole history and culture from their own website. You can also check out this good lesson from Florida Memory, especially if you are looking towards the SS.4.A.3.8 benchmark!
Access the PowerPoint slide featured at the top of this post here: Seminole Nation
And of COURSE this Freedom Month don’t forget the Preamble Challenge from our friends at the Civics Renewal Network! Check it out today!