The Seminole tribe has six reservations. They have developed more extensive hotels and related resorts for gaming on some of their reservations.
The Seminoles of Florida call themselves the “Unconquered People,” descendants of just 300 Indians who managed to elude capture by the U.S. army in the 19th century. Today, more than 2,000 live on six reservations in the state – located in Hollywood, Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee, Ft. Pierce, and Tampa.
Once a month, every man, woman and child in the tribe gets a check for $1,000 – up from $300 a year ago. The money is generated from the tribe’s gaming tables, with revenue divided equally among members after expenses.
Forty-five minutes south of Clewiston exists a nation in the heart of South Florida. It is the Big Cypress Reservation, the largest of six Indian reservations owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The Seminole are a Native American people originally from Florida. Today, they live in Oklahoma and Florida, and comprise three federally recognized tribes: the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, as well as independent groups.
Almost all of the tribe’s $525 million in annual dividends flows from the Seminoles ‘ seven Florida casinos, which are worth an estimated $10.4 billion.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
Most tribes require a specific percentage of Native “blood,” called blood quantum, in addition to being able to document which tribal member you descend from. Some tribes require as much as 25% Native heritage, and most require at least 1/16th Native heritage, which is one great-great grandparent.
All Indians are subject to federal income taxes. However, whenever a member of an Indian tribe conducts business off the reservation, that person, like everyone else, pays both state and local taxes. State income taxes are not paid on reservation or trust lands.
The Pine Ridge Reservation is home to the lowest life expectancy, and a number of the poorest communities in the United States. The average life expectancy on Pine Ridge is 66.81 years, the lowest in the United States.
A Cherokee born today would stand to receive at least $168,000 when he or she turns 18. The tribe pays for financial training classes for both high school students and adults. It is not a requirement that tribal members drawing checks live on the reservation, though approximately 10,000 do.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs uses a blood quantum definition—generally one-fourth Native American blood —and/or tribal membership to recognize an individual as Native American. However, each tribe has its own set of requirements—generally including a blood quantum—for membership (enrollment) of individuals.
Q: What is the difference between the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes? A: The difference is political, not cultural. In 1957, many of the Native Americans in Florida formed a political organization called the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida are two of three federally recognized Seminole nations, along with the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. There are six Seminole Tribe of Florida reservations across the state of Florida.
The 2000 census records show that over 53,000 people in Florida claim Native American descent, and 39 different tribes from across North America are represented in Florida’s population.