Author: Matthew Koenig

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

Fall is right around the corner and it’s bringing an abundance of exciting events to the Seminole Big Cypress Indian Reservation. Whether you’re a busy parent, a hardworking adventurer or a student back in school, the Ah-Tah-Thi Ki Museum has the activity for you. An Event-Filled Fall Calendar The Fall event calendar is jam-packed with cool events that will have something for everyone in the household. On September 19th from 10 AM -3 PM the Seminole Artist Experience Art Sale takes place. Not only will beautiful works of Seminole art be available for purchase, including those by Elgin Jumper, but a painting demonstration, print raffle and work-in-progress reading of “Nightfall, The Novel” will also take place.  The Museum will be hosting this event at the Seminole Tribe’s Hollywood Headquarters. During the month of October, participants can traverse the boardwalk at night and hear some  stories during the Nighttime Experience (Oct. 12th) or find

Saturday, May 11th will be a day of exciting entertainment and Seminole tradition. This year marks the 124th Big Cypress Anniversary Celebration. Here, families can immerse themselves in a historical culture while attending a cherished event that has been going on for over a century. No Shortage of Fantastic Entertainment The Big Cypress Anniversary Celebration seeks to preserve some very important values; integrity, culture, heritage and tradition. What’s the best way to achieve that? Exhibiting Florida Seminole customs in the most fun way possible! Alligator wrestling with Freestyle Alligator Wrestling Competition, exhibits and displays from the Seminole Tribe’s owned Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum, carnival rides, traditional Native American shows, Seminole arts and crafts and plenty of delicious Seminole (and American fare) will be available. All-day entertainment also means the Celebration has prepared more than 6 hours of back-to-back live concerts for no additional fees. This year their lineup features critically acclaimed country singer Gary

For Floridian educators and administrators worried about finding that next school field - you can finally take a breath. Your next school field trip is already set, and it’s pretty spectacular. Situated at the heart of the Everglades, on the Big Cypress Indian Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum effortlessly offers nature and Native American culture for students through various exhibits, programs, tours, and a scenic, mile-long boardwalk. With over 180,000 artifacts and bountiful flora, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum is the ideal destination to push past day-to-day boundaries and directly immerse with the Seminole people. Native American History with a View Too often we find ourselves drained by the same routine. The truth is, learning can be both fun and informative, without having to take sides. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum has a number of outside features that keep visitors engaged and connected with nature. Taking selfies at the through the cypress dome, learning about the clans

In the current age of technology, many have realized that teaching and learning can often feel mundane. What is meant to enrich the mind and inspire passion ends up feeling like a burden. Repetitive routines often hinder the ability to absorb new information, which can be particularly dull for young learners. For this reason, educators are constantly in search of exciting, new ways to spice up their curriculum. Thankfully, school field trips to Billie Swamp Safari can easily provide the getaway experience so many have been trying to incorporate into the classroom. Experiential Natural Science School field trips are a vital part of any educational curriculum as they allow for freedom to get out of the classroom setting, experience something new, and above all, have a little fun. So, what happens if academic learning can be paired with the fun? Everyone wins! As such, school field trips at Billie Swamp Safari can

The 2019 Seminole Shootout is being held from March 1-3 on the Seminole Immokalee Reservation. The event highlights an important period in history for the Seminole Tribe of Florida - the Second Seminole War. This Florida event showcases an intense battle reenactment typical of this period. Actors are equipped with authentic attire and weapons paired with tactics and pyrotechnical canon blasts, giving a full representation of what it looks like to be soldiers and warriors in battle during the war. This unique three-day event is terrific fun and highly educational. It is perfect family event that should not be missed! The Seminole Wars Although some may be attuned to the fact that Native Americans have been involved in several conflicts dating back to the 1800s, few are familiar with the exact history and level of perseverance the ancestors of the Seminole tribe had to endure. In total, there have been three Seminole

A Day of Tradition The 81st Annual Brighton Field Day is almost here! It is an annual Seminole Tribe celebration for the last 80 years. It all started in 1938 when William and Edith Boehmer decided it was well worth trying out a “day of fun”. Both William and Edith were teachers who lived on the Seminole Brighton reservation, and had originally planned the day of fun to be for the local tribal community audience. Over time, the event expanded significantly in size, and is now open to the public as well as tribal members to enjoy! And they do; thousands of participants come out to the Seminole Brighton reservation each year to partake in the cultural theater and experience the community’s festivities first-hand. Brighton Field Day will be held at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena at the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Okeechobee, FL. This year’s Seminole Brighton Field Day will take place

Whether you’re an adventurous world traveler or a local who likes to venture out, most don’t need a reason to explore the wonders of the Florida Everglades. A trip to the Everglades would not be complete without some knowledge base of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Located on Seminole Big Cypress Indian Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum helps thousands of visitors each year delve into the rich Seminole history and their Everglades home for the last 300 years. Not convinced? Here are five considerations to bring up at your next family dinner about what to do next weekend. Relax, Just Do It Chances are, if you’re in America, are part of the working force, or have a pulse, you can benefit from taking a vacation. A day trip to the museum can be the perfect way to unwind, reconnect with nature and appreciate life in the present. If you remain unconvinced, just

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will host its 48th annual celebration of Native culture and arts on February 8-10, 2019 in Hollywood, Florida. The 2019 Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino property in Hollywood. Events will be held in the Hard Rock Event Center. The event is free and open to the public. The three-day Native American festival is perfect for children and adults alike. There is something for everyone. As one of Florida’s best kept event secrets, the 2019 Tribal Fair will be headlined by country music star Gretchen Wilson. Gretchen made her debut in March 2004 with the Grammy Award-winning single "Redneck Woman," a number-one hit on the Billboard country charts. The song served as the lead-off single of her debut album, Here for the Party. She will perform on Sunday, February 10 at 3PM at the Hard Rock

The Florida Everglades, rich in history, beauty and culture, are also home to some of the most magnificent creatures the North America has to offer; birds. As the only subtropical preserve in all of North America, the Everglades provides the most significant breeding grounds for tropical wading birds. Here, more than 350 different species of birds have been seen, including bitterns, storks, even endangered species like the ultra-rare Snail Kites. So, the next time you venture to the Florida Everglades, don’t forget to bring your binoculars, camera, sunscreen and bird field identification book. Role in Nature Ecologically, birds assist the environment in so many ways. Some birds aid in plant reproduction through pollination or seed dispersion, and others provide a host body for parasites. Birds naturally sustain population levels and serve as food after death, much like any other species. The most common rule of thumb in the Everglades is, the healthier