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Welcome to the
Fourth Edition

of the
Seminole Indian News
FLORIDA'S FIRST
MICCOSUKEE AND SEMINOLE INDIAN NEWSPAPER
DECEMBER 1961
Vol.1, No. 4
Page 1


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Miccosukee Appeal To ĎPublicí For Help!
"Unsurrendered" Seminoles' Peace Threatened!

Florida Everglades
The executive Council of the Miccosukee Tribe of Seminole Indians, in an unprecedented action, appealed to the American public for help.


In a letter they issued to the public they wrote:

To the American people; Our unconquered Miccosukee Seminole Nation is asking the American people for help.

We want the American people to be told what is being done to our people. That the United States, and the state of Florida are trying again to push our people off our Everglades homeland.

We hope the American people will do something to help our people once they hear the truth. Over 100 years ago our forefathers fought and died to save our home country. You call this the Seminole Wars. The whole United States army could not conquer our people. They tried all kinds of tricks and even trapped our Chief Osceola under a white flag of truce and held him till he rotted in a federal dungeon. After that, in 1939, the America public, and a brave Ohio Congressman rose up and came to our aid. They became disgusted with the bare-faced federal policy of kill and grab by brute force and public opinion forced the United States to send the commanding General of the United States army, Alexander McComb, to Florida to make a
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peace treaty with our people.  He promised to leave our people alone to live in peace forever on our Everglades land, our great-grandfathers signed this treaty, and for over 100 years our people lived in peace on our land under it.  Then we recently discovered the United States was refusing to honor this treaty.  The federal government is still trying all different ways to push us off our land.  In 1950 they even went so far as to encourage the filing of fake claims in the United States Indian Claims Commission, to make it look like our people wanted to sell our land, and would take money for it. These claims are still there today.   They will take away our homes, but to this government bureau they are just 73 and 73A.  In 1954 our council finally protested these injustices to President Eisenhower in our Buckskin Declaration, which we heard he still keeps in his private museum. We asked him to send his special representative to negotiate with our people an agreement that would once and for all let us live in peace on our land.

For over six years our councils negotiated in good faith with President Eisenhowerís special representative, and we thought agreements had been made, because some of them were signed by the United States Secretary of Interior himself in 1960.  Then the United States got a new President, John Kennedy and we heard good things about him.  He said good things about the rights of small countries and the right of self determination.   He spoke like a man of honor and integrity.

But his Secretary of Interior Udall turned out to be one of the greatest enemies of our people 100 years ago.

We do not have words to describe what he is doing Ė except the words written by United States Congressman, Joshua Giddings 100 years ago is exactly true again. In his book, "The Exiles of Florida", he said:


"Florida was purchased; Treaties with the Florida Indians were made and violated; gross frauds were perpetrated; dishonorable expedience were resorted. . . bribery and treachery were practiced towards. . . The Seminoles; flags of truce were violated; the pledged faith of the nation was disregarded. "Men who wielded the influence of government for the consummation of these crimes, assiduously labored to suppress all knowledge of their guilt; to keep the facts from the popular mind; to falsify history of current events, and prevent an exposure of our national turpitude."

These things are being done to us again now.

After years of negotiating and agreements they are still trying to push us off our land push through a fake claim of some lawyers that some reservation Indians want to sell our land.  They havenít gone to so much trouble since 1832 when they made a fake treaty at Paynes Landing.

Our people retreated into the Everglades, and we believed we had a treaty with the U.S. government that said they would leave us alone in our homes there. In the past ten years we discovered this wasnít so.  We found out that federal bureau people in Washington were trying to work it so that the treaties the U.S. Signed with our great grandfathers a hundred years ago would be gotten around.  We found that they were trying to get Indians to sell the Miccosukee Seminoles land.

In 1957, our Miccouskee people who had always refused to live on reservations and be told what to do by Indian bureau agents organized our Miccosukee tribe.  If you are an Indian and live on a reservation a white our half-breed Indian agent has the power to tell you what to do, and the state or federal government has the right to take away your land, any time they want, for power lines or anything.

When we reorganized our tribe, President Eisenhower's Secretary of Interior Seaton told us that we couldnít organize under what he called the Indian Reorganization Act because we did not live on a reservation but he did officially recognize our tribe.  He said if we went on a reservation, or got together with reservation Indians who were organizing to get money, we would get money for this and that from the government. But all we wanted was our land, with assurance that our people could have it and live on it, for as long as there is a Miccosukee tribe of Seminole Indians.

President Eisenhowerís Secretary of Interior also said we would have to be on a reservation to get federal benefits and protections.

But now, under President John F. Kennedy, an Indian agent has been sent to the Everglades to organize a small group of Miccouskee Seminoles who do not live on the reservation.  They never sent an agent before, it sounds like what happened a hundred years ago, when "bribery and treachery were practiced towards the Seminoles."

Secretary of Interior Udallís Indian Agent is now trying to set up a third tribe, is offering them various "federal benefits" from a "revolving loan fund" of the Interior Bureau and doing it without a reservation.  This agent says that the recognition given our tribe by Secretary of Interior Seaton was illegal.  To some hungry Miccosukee Indians off the reservations this has looked so good that they are going along with Udallís Indian Agent to set up this third tribe that can receive handouts.

On December 17, Udallís Indian Agent is going to get this group of Indians to stage an election to set up this third tribe, which has agreed to take money instead of land.   Because there are so few of them we hear they are even borrowing Indianís from the other reservation tribe in Dania to make it look like a real election.  After the so-called election, we can see they will try to tell the world our tribe has agreed to sell our land for money when it is not.

But what we, the council of the Miccosukees do not understand is this: When we reorganized in 1957 the Indian Bureau people said:

"You canít get any federal handouts if you donít organize under the federal reorganization act, and you canít do that unless you live on a reservation."

We said, as we always did, "We donít want handouts, we want our land, and we donít and wonít live on a reservation on welfare."

Now they say, to this third tribe they are trying to organize under the Indian Reorganization Act: Weíll help you with loans.

We know from our children who have been to U.S. schools about the idea of "divide and conquer."  We appealed to President Kennedy about this policy two months ago.   He didnít answer at all. Our only hope now lies with the American people.

There must be someone who will help us.

The Executive Council



U.S. PLANNING 3rd FLA. TRIBE

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p. 1

"The U.S. Interior Dept. is pushing ahead with its plans to organize a third tribe of puppet Indians in an effort to wreck the many years of negotiations and agreements with our Miccosukee Tribe," charged Homer Osceola, Co-Chairman of the Miccosukee Tribal Executive Council.

"We predicted this when we gave this story to the newspapers last October.

They obviously plan to try to trick the public into believing that what their puppets do has been authorized by our Miccosukee Tribe.

"If they go through with this shenanigan, it will be the biggest fraud on the Seminoles since the fake so-called treaty of Paynes Landing over 100 years ago.  And we want the American public to know what is going on here.
"


DEC. 17 ELECTION A WASH-OUT
By
Alice Osceola

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(Re-typed for clarity)

p. 3

Fla. Everglades.  The so-called election called by the Tiger family on December 17 in their effort to organize a third tribe turned out to be a complete failure.  Only 27 Indians turned out to vote, out of the 300 they claimed.  Of these 27, four were reliably reported to be members of the Seminole Tribe in Dania, and ineligible to vote.  Earlier this week, R. C. Miller, Interior agent, had stated that no member of the Seminole Tribe would be eligible to vote in this so-called election.  Prior to the election, Miller was very evasive when questioned about so-called absentee ballots.   At first he said there were 11, then 14.  Of the 14, 8 were discovered to be members of the Seminole Tribe in Dania, ineligible to vote.  And 4 of those allegedly casting an absentee ballot were seen in the vicinity of where the election was taking place, some of whom denied they were participants in the election.

According to Miccosukee Tribal Councilman John Osceola, there were, in his words, "12 borrowed voters from the other Tribe in Dania".  Photographs of the three of these "borrowed voters were taken by the Seminole Indian News, and appear at the right of this page.  From top to bottom, they are Jack Kelly, Johnny White and Stanley Frank (running to avoid the camera). 

Pictured above, smiling jubilantly, are Miccosukee Tribal leaders Bill Osceola, Billie Doctor, and John Osceola (L-R), who were non-participating observers.  Although happy over the outcome, they feared the U.S. Interior Dept. would try to go ahead with a 3rd tribe with or without a legal election.  Pictured below is the home of two of the Indians who allegedly cast "absentee ballots", located inside the election area.  Miller could show no regulation pertaining to the casting of the so-called absentee ballots.  Tribal Councilman John Osceola said, "As far as I am concerned, they tried every way they knew to rig their election.  They might have gotten away with it if we hadn't kept a close eye on them!"


  Stay tuned for more stories in this issue.          


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