Seminole Tribe: Prosperity Out of the Florida Everglades
There is a wild, thriving ecosystem quietly booming in southern Florida today. It is the Florida Everglades, and it is abundant, peaceful and all natural. A beautiful variety of plant, animal, and insect species thrive off of the land and each other, working in perfect harmony to sustain life. Also inhabiting the land are the hard-working, resilient people, known as the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Out of the Florida Everglades they have built an entire community, filled with unique arts, foods, businesses, and a culture entirely their own. Their success today is an accumulation of hardship, survival and strength on their eventual road to prosperity.
Adversity Could Not Stop the Seminoles
Long before the Seminole Tribe of Florida began to flourish, they would first overcome an incredible amount of adversity. Once peacefully subsisting, the Seminoles saw significant population decline when the English invaded in the 17th and 18th centuries, bringing with them disease, slavery and murder. What followed in the next century was likewise grimacing; three wars (known as the Seminole Wars) waged by the United States, costing millions of acres of Native land. Additionally, the Seminole Wars forced the harsh reallocation of 16,000 Native Americans to Oklahoma, with more than a quarter of them dying along the way.
At the same time, about 300 Seminoles were able to retreat into the Everglades; a land thought uninhabitable by most. It is here that they sharpened their hunting, fishing, and crop-growing skills. Although they lived in isolation, the Seminole began to sell animal hides, and bought clothes, tools and food staples at a trading post in Fort Lauderdale. While adversaries saw the swampy marshlands of the Florida Everglades as uninhabitable, the Seminoles saw an opportunity. They built structures constructed using cypress logs and thatch leaves to mount their homes, known as “chickees.” By the 1920’s, exhibition villages had been established and the Seminoles were able to tap into their cunning nature and lay the seeds to a blossoming future.
Today’s Global Business Leaders
It’s no wonder the Seminole Tribe of Florida, also known as the “Unconquered People” continued to thrive. In fact, more trading posts opened, a constitutional form of government was adopted, and the Indian Claims Commission awarded them a monetary settlement for land taken by the U.S. military. Despite the enduring years, the Seminoles further established themselves as Florida business moguls with wide-ranging enterprises covering trade, live entertainment, cattle farming, tourism, hospitality, gaming and more. Today, some of their most notable ventures include Billie Swamp Safari and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. These businesses offer a fun glimpse into Seminole people and the Florida Everglades. Others, such as the world famous Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, employs more than 40,000 people. The Seminoles’ strong presence in these billion-dollar industries speaks to their perseverance and acumen. What was once just 300 Seminole’s is now a burgeoning population of over 2,000. Through perseverance and adaptability, the success of the Seminole Tribe of Florida is still growing!
ABOUT FLORIDA SEMINOLE TOURISM (FST)
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is a federally recognized Indian Tribe. FST is a top Florida Everglades adventure, learning and camping destination. We share the excitement and wonder of the Florida Everglades to visitors from around the globe. Our award-winning Everglades attractions include Billie Swamp Safari, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, and Big Cypress RV Resort & Campground.