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Muscogee Nation of Florida History:
A petition for federal acknowledgment was turned into the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1978, but was returned the same year because of major changes to 25 CFR Part 83. During the period of 1978 to 1995, the Tribe wrote 3 separate petitions for recognition. The first two petitions were not submitted, primarily because of changing BAR policies and rulings on other Creek petitions, including the Senate Administrative recognition of Poarch Band of Creeks in Alabama. Muscogee Nation of Florida submitted its petition to the BIA/BAR in June of 1995. In 1996, the Tribe received its Technical Assistance letter from the BAR (now OFA). The Tribe finalized it’s response to this letter in 2002. It was placed on the “Ready, Waiting for Active Consideration” list in January, 2003. However, at that time, the Tribal government was notified that federal regulations had once again changed and that it needed to convert 120,000 documents int() a computer database for the Office of Federal Acknowledgement – 63 banker boxes of information – and that all data must be organized and separated on a criteria basis. In other words, if one document is required for all 7 criteria, it has to be copied 7 times. In the case of Muscogee Nation of Florida, an amount in excess of 840,000 sheets of paper could be required. The Tribe cannot bear this financial burden. While the Tribal government continues to try to meet new regulations with no mechanism for being ‘grand-fathered in’, our elders die without federal recognition.
A written Constitution was set up in 1978 with the assistance of the Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council. Tribal codes were completed and adopted by 1990. The Tribe has an acceptable accounting system in place with regular audits for state and federal contracts. The Tribe runs a congregate meal site inside its Council House for the local community and is now establishing a volunteer fire department with the help of local Hub Zone personnel. The Tribal Government maintains good working relationships with local communities, participates in many community sponsored events, and has numerous resolutions of support from state officials and local governments, including the Walton County Board of County Commissioners.