Monday, 21 February 2011

Seminole Tribe

The above website is about the Seminole Tribe which have six reservations throughout Florida.

The first piece of text you see on the website’s homepage states that “The Seminole Tribe of Florida is a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, the only tribe in America who never signed a peace treaty”. That this is the first piece of information on the home page shows that the Seminoles have great pride in the fact that their ancestors did not make any deals with the government and therefore chose to keep fighting This fighting spirit is also shown throughout the history section of the website, which displays facts such as, when the military actions against the Seminole tribe finally ended, it was most costly military campaign in the young country's history. Headings in this section such as “No Surrender!” and “Survival in the Swamp”, shows that the Seminole tribe want to display that their tribe didn’t give up and fought until they were overwhelmed. This therefore could indicate shame towards the other Native American tribes which did eventually sign treaties with the government and stopped fighting.

"This never give up spirit is once again shown on the website, in this case in the sections which talk about the current situation of the Seminole tribe and what they are trying to achieve in the future. These days, the battleground is often a courtroom, where the Seminole Tribe has proved a vigorous defender of its sovereignty. The proud, "unconquered" Seminole Tribal community remains, as always, a valuable legacy of Florida's rich and diverse heritage and a national leader among American Indian tribes striving for self-reliance. "

This paragraph taken from “the future” section of the site shows that the Seminole tribe are still fighting the government even if it doesn’t involve actually physical combat. An example of this is that they won the legal challenges which were made against their gaming which the Seminole people believe “opened the door for dozens of other American tribes to follow suit” and therefore gave them the opportunity to make a fortune. This amongst other things such as in 1967 Betty Mae Jumper of the Seminole tribe was the elected to the position of chair, making her the first woman to occupy this position in any tribe in North America, reinforces their statement that the tribe is at the fore-front of Native American Tribes Finally it is interesting that in the above paragraph the Seminole people call their tribe “unconquered” and make repeated statements that their tribe defends their customs etc yet the Seminole people have a good standard of living as a result of their hotels and gaming enterprises. Some people would view this as the Seminole tribe turning their back on their customs and community and therefore being “conquered”, not by the Americans they fought nearly two hundred years ago, but by the desire for money and to have a decent modern lifestyle

In conclusion, the Seminole website presents its tribe as being a type of role model and standard bearer for other North American Tribes. This comes across in the way they present their history and current situation, by repeating the acts of defiance their ancestors took part in, such as refusing to sign a treaty with the government, and the way their tribe has progressed, through winning landmark battles in court and by electing women as important members of the tribe.

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