Tue, Oct 03|
Florida Native Lives and Land
A panel discussion with FL Indigenous tribal members and activists. Join Seminole artist, videographer, and environmental activist Samuel Tommie, plus Robert Rosa, Florida Representative for the United Confederation of Taino People and member of the central Florida division of the American Indian Mo
Time & Location
Oct 03, 2023, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
About the event
Do not RSVP here, just go to register here: bit.ly/3OSCYtn
A panel discussion with FL Indigenous tribal members and activists. Join Seminole artist, videographer, and environmental activist Samuel Tommie, plus Robert Rosa, Florida Representative for the United Confederation of Taino People and member of the central Florida division of the American Indian Movement (AIM), and William Osceola, Secretary of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, and other allies. Let’s talk about how to be in respectful relationship and community..
This conversation will be facilitated by Jan Booher of UU Justice FL and hosted by the SWFL RESET Center. This is part of an ongoing UUSC-sponsored project "Being a Good Neighbor".
FREE tickets on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/3OSCYtn
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
SAMUEL TOMMIE Samuel Tommie is an artist, musician, videographer, and environmental activist who is a member of the Seminole Tribe of Indians. Three of Tommie’s large acrylic paintings on canvas depicting traditional Seminole life are featured in the Mosaic Gallery and “In Our Creator’s Hands,” a film he made about conserving the environment was screened for guests.
“Today the Seminole community is concerned about the environment,” Tommie said in remarks before the film was shown. “These are the values we’ve had for hundreds of years.” The film showed scenes of nature found in Big Cypress such as animals, foliage, and water. Tommie, the film’s narrator, conveyed a simple message: All life is precious, we’re all sacred and this is where we belong.
Born on a tree island in the Everglades, Tommie left the wilderness at age 5 and moved with his family to the Big Cypress Reservation. He remembers there being a lot more water than there is now.
“The Everglades is a unique place,” he said. “Our warriors were aware of that.”
Lately, Tommie put his art on hold to devote himself to environmental activism. He spoke about the Tribe’s fight with Florida Power & Light against the power plant the utility company wants to build just north of the reservation. He believes it’s important to take a stand together to protect the water, land, and air. ***
ROBERT ROSA Robert Rosa is the Florida representative for the U.C.T.P. (United Confederation of Taino People) and a member of the central Florida division of the American Indian Movement (AIM).
Rosa successfully advocated for saving land near the Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve, Florida that was earmarked by a developer for a Dollar General store. The disputed land is near the site of a key battle of the Seminole Wars and a Native American burial ground.
“To our incredible surprise the Alachua County Commission today ended the two-year struggle to protect the Micanopy Battlefield site [and] any burials there as well as its environmental status by agreeing to buy not only the parcel we were concerned about but an adjacent parcel to ensure the site is not developed.”
WILLIAM OSCEOLA William J. Osceola taught language, culture, and digital arts at the Miccosukee Indian School before he was elected Secretary of the Miccosukee Business Council in 2021. In his early thirties, he is the Council’s youngest member, balancing tradition and modernity with a creative flair. “Buffalo Tiger was very young when he first became Chairman. I am continuing a legacy that started before I was here”, he expressed confidently, knowing that the future of the Tribe lies in educating the young and following in his ancestors’ footsteps.
As Secretary, he is in charge of all aspects of communication within the Tribe, including recordkeeping, handling correspondence, publishing notices about meetings and events, and keeping track of Tribal membership. Some of his goals include shaping future leaders by placing an emphasis on education, increasing community involvement, and investing in infrastructure to improve roads, sidewalks, and important buildings within the Reservation.
He was born in Florida and raised in different camps inside the Reservation; when he was 5 years old, his family moved to Connecticut. Living there for 7 years gave him an in-depth perspective on the outside world and increased his appreciation for his Tribal community.