In the mid-1700's, they established a settlement in present day Micanopy, where they flourished as cattlemen. Their first leader, Cowkeeper, spent his life trying to keep the Spanish and English out of what he believed to be the Seminole Nation all the land west of the St. Johns River.
- Seminoles and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum information
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- The Seminole Tribe
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"At one point, [there were] a quarter of a million native Americans living in the Southeast, by the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858 there were probably only a couple of hundreds Seminoles left in Florida," said Willard Steele, tribal historic preservation officer of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
In 1907, the Department of Interior set aside 540 acres of land near Dania for the Seminole use, and in 1911, President William H. Taft set aside lands in Martin, Broward and Henry Counties as reservations. By 1913, there were 18 Indian reservations in Florida.
In the 1930s, Seminoles who did not believe in reservations distanced themselves from the tribe and moved next to the Everglades National Park.
Forty years later, tribal gaming was formed as a method to sustain tribal economy. Today Seminole Casinos, along with cattle, citrus and other enterprises, provide economic stability.
In 1989, tribe officers passed a resolution that led to the creation of museums meant to preserve, interpret and display the culture of the Seminole Tribe.
Information provided by the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum Web site.