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The Muscogee Nation of Florida, also known as the Florida Tribe of Eastern Creek Indians, is a Tribe of Creek Indian people whose home is centered in Bruce, in Walton County, Florida. The Tribe was renamed in 2001 during a constitutional reorganization to better represent its traditional roots and identity. The Creek predecessors of Muscogee Nation of Florida signed 11 treaties with the United States between 1790 and 1833. By these agreements, the removal of the ancestors of the present day Muscogee Nation of Florida began from their traditional homelands in the states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. (See Attachment 1: Significant Creek Treaties and Treaty Cessions – Sidebar)
Those who formed our modern nation followed the Choctawhatchee River south into the State of Florida from Dale County, Alabama as early as 1837 to escape the federal government’s removal policies. That year federal officers had noted that some 200 Creeks lived at a village near Daleville. (See Attachment 2: Creek Wars letter dated 1837 – Sidebar)
By the 1850s, the Creek people had begun the process of forced adaptation to survive. Migration into Florida required the re-establishment of traditional grounds, communities, lifestyles, and governance. In 1852, the General Assembly of the State of Florida passed its own stringent racially discriminating laws:
“It shall be unlawful for any Indian or Indians to remain within the limits of this State, and any Indian or Indians that may remain, or may be found within the limits of this State, shall be captured and sent west of the Mississippi; provided that Indians and half-breeds residing among the whites shall not be included in this section.”
This Act removed any possibility of Creek people openly living traditional lifestyles, much less identifying themselves – or being identified – as members of a Tribe of Indians. The law did not prevent the Creek people that formed Muscogee Nation of Florida from creating settlements that were separate and distinct from white or black communities. However, the laws of the State of Florida required the public suppression of identifiable Creek self-governance, traditional ceremonies, racial identification, practices and lifestyles under the direct threat of removal or death. Today, this policy is described as Ethnic Cleansing.
Muscogee Nation of Florida History: