Big Cypress Anniversary Celebration
Celebrating the importance of preserving integrity, culture, heritage and tradition while remaining UNCONQUERED and prospering into a successful organization.
At one time the Seminole people called the entire Florida peninsula their home, but after fighting three Seminole Wars, they were forced to seek the seclusion of the Everglades swampland of South Florida in order to prevent relocation to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
During the latter half of the 19th century, white settlers again began to encroach upon their region, making it increasingly difficult for them to live off the land and plant their gardens.
The Federal Government under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs attempted to establish agencies, prepare a census of the remaining native population and acquire lands for Tribal occupation. Not wishing to have their freedom curtailed, the Seminoles resisted all efforts by the government to establish reservations and continued to inhabit remote campsites within the heart of the Everglades for several decades.
``According to public records, the Bureau of Indian Affairs purchased a tract of 160 acres of land in 1889 and another piece in 1896,” said Big Cypress Council Rep. Mondo Tiger. “This acreage was located in the southwestern portion of what now comprises the Big Cypress Reservation. This property became the nucleus for future land acquisitions that would eventually be dedicated as the Big Cypress Reservation in 1936.``