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Interview with Mr. Eugene Barrett, September 29, 1971

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Title:
Interview with Mr. Eugene Barrett, September 29, 1971
Creator:
Barrett, Eugene ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Seminoles' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 34 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Eugene Barrett
INTERVIEWER: John Mahon
DATE: September 1971
DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION















SUMMARY
Eugene Barrett, BIA superintendent at Hollywood,
1967-1971, discusses: tribal economics and income,
Seminole politics and leadership, family structure,
discipline and delinquency, education, and the BIA.
Much of the interview deals with Seminole income and
their achievement of solvency and profit. Barrett
tells how he guided them in the leasing of their
land for cattle and vegetable farmer. As a corollary he
considers their attitude toward wealth. Another major
portion of the interview is comprised of Barrett's
experiences with the tribal leadership and his assess-
ment of it. In some detail he mentions the "takeover
policy" when Indians sought top positions in all
BIA departments. Throughout his discussions he uses
particular cases and persons. Mr. Barrett considers
education and deems illiteracy and lack of reading
comprehension to be the root of many Seminole prob-
lems. Family structure with respect to discipline
and delinquency is also included.















INDEX
Barrett, Eugene (BIA Superintendent 1967-71, Hollywood)
opinion of Seminole culture, 38-39
B.I.A., 2, 9-10, 32-36
economics and income (tribal), 1, 4, 6-9, 26-32
education
illiteracy among Seminoles, 10
reading comprehension, 13-14, 39
Seminole failure in public schools, 11-13, 15
family structure (discipline, delinquency), 15-17, 21-22
Jumper, Bettie Mae, 2, 18, 22, 30, 34
language (spoken; sign), 36-37
Monsteoca, Fred, 34
NYC (National Youth Corps Association), 23-24
Osceola, Bill, 1-2, 5
Osceola, Billy, 1-2, 5
Osceola, Joe Dan, 2, 22
politics and leadership, 1-6, 22-25
Scafti thesis, 20-22
Selective Service registration, 17-19
Smith, Fred, 23, 24
Tiger, Buffalo, 35
Tiger, Howard, 1-2, 7, 9
Tommie, Howard, 22-23, 25, 34
wealth (Seminole attitude toward), 28-30















M: Could you tell us something further on the problems the Seminoles
had? I mean, they sent you down here as a trouble-shooter, and
specifically, what was wrong? Do you remember? Any details you
could supply from memory?
B: Well, as I recall, the basic difference was political. Political
with an economic overture, if you please.
M: Yes.
B: The Seminole people were, and still are, great people to have
faith in and trust their leadership. If you recall, they didn't
change leadership. The same two or three fellows were elected
to office year after year.
M: You're talking about Bill Osceola and Billy?
B: Right.
M: And Howard Tiger?
B: Howard just happened to have this fatal accident, or he would
still probably be involved in the political arena.
M: I knew Howard. Of course, I've met Bill and Billy, but I knew
Howard.
B: The superintendent, one of my predecessors, was recommending to
them that they increase the tribal indebtedness an additional
one-plus millions of dollars, to start various enterprises,
develop the reservation on their own, and increase the number
of people involved in the cattle industry. This had reached a
point where the approvals for the loan had been made. But it
was also election time.
M: The loan was from the U.S. government, I suppose.
B: Right.
M: The Interior Department?
B: FHA or SBA, one of these loaning agencies. The opposition to
this loan were younger people who were fearful of increasing
the tribal indebtedness, and the campaign became very bitter.






2
M: This was in '57?
B: '67.
M: '67. Of course. That's what you said.
B: The staff, or some of the staff members, sided in with the new
deal, so to speak. They were the new upstarts, the young blood.
The superintendent favored the incumbents in office. And they
actively got to campaigning for their various political parties.
Which is contrary to the policy of the Bureau, to interfere in
tribal politics in any way. After the election, the old-timers,
Bill and Billy, lost their positions, and Bettie Mae Jumper and
Joe Dan Osceola were elected into their respective offices. This
bitterness still carried over; there were charges and counter-
charges against the various employees and against the tribal peo-
ple. This was the situation that I inherited. I didn't think it
was so bad, but it flared up a time or two, when one of the young
Seminoles attacked one of the employees there in the office.
M: Physically attacked?
B: Oh, yes.
M: What was the provocation? Just political?
B: No, I think it was probably partially personal, and it also could
have been a carry-over from the political feeling. This was the
man that is in the job that Billy Cypress has now.
M: Steve Feraca?
B: I don't know whether you knew Steve Feraca.
M: Well, I know the name. He was the one that was attacked?
B: Yes. And he had his arm broken.
M: I didn't know that.
B: When a person gets into this position with a client, then his
effectiveness is gone. And so, I asked the office to move him.
M: It was hinted to me one time that what happened to Howard Tiger






3
was more than accident. Do you, you think that's...?
B: I don't know, but such a thought is hard to accept.
M: That's all it was, just...?
B: I think there are some people that feel this. Maybe -- let's
call it wishful thinking. If someone asked me to sum up the
Seminole people, I would say that they're gentle. They are
slow to anger. They are a very obstinate, stubborn people; I
think they'd move out of their way to evade trouble. I don't
think that they ever ever move into trouble. Say, like an
Irishman will do. And, so, I don't think they're particularly
vindictive.
M: Well, you know, that was just hinted to me, and I just indicate,
I suppose, some attitude towards the bitterness that did exist.
B: That could've been.
M: In other tribes that you've had to do with, were women involved
in the tribal government and management as with the Seminoles?
B: Oh yes, to a great extent.
M: It's not uncommon at all?
B: No. In fact, when I went to work with the Blackfeet, it was
pretty much male-dominated. From my first experience, I'll
say it was male-dominated, but one of the big influences in the
true Indian picture in the state of Montana at that time -- and
incidentally, still is -- was Dolly Acres, who was an Indian.
She was probably a self-appointed leader of all the Indian
tribes of Montana, and I think holds a fairly responsible posi-
tion there. When I moved to the Sioux country, the men were in
the forefront -- they made the speeches -- they were the peacocks.
But I early found out that the power behind the throne was the
women. The women told the men what to do and say. The men
would oftentimes get stumped in a discussion, and invariably
they'd turn around to their wives and ask their advice.
M: Is it not true among the Navajo that the women own the blocks?
B: This is what I understand. They say it is a matriarchal society.






4
M: And was that true with any of these other tribes?
B: Not to the same extent as with the Navajo.
M: Was their control economic?
B: No. Not always.
M: And it's not true of the Seminoles, is it?
B: No. No.
M: Do Seminole women, to your knowledge, own some of the common
herd?
B: No, I don't think so. The bull herds and experimental herds are
tribally owned.
M: These are owned in the names of the men.
B: No, women can own livestock.
M: But you don't know that they do.
B: Oh, I know that some of them do.
M: Some of them do.
B: Yes, because there was a policy at one time, that if you (again
it might have been an unwritten policy) wanted a home, of if
you wanted to borrow money from the tribe to build a home, you
had to have some type of security. And the security was the
cattle herd that the individuals owned. So consequently, a
lot of people went into the cattle business, so that they could
get a house. If you're familiar with the reservation, you'll
notice they had a group of CBS (concrete block) houses, maybe
eight or ten houses at Big Cypress, Brighton, and even in Holly-
wood. Those were underwritten, more or less, by the privately
owned cattle herds.
M: Yes.
B: You might talk to Mrs Clark sometime about that.






5
M: Who is Mrs. Clark?
B: She's the credit officer.
M: Oh. Is she still active there?
B: Yes.
M: The leadership that you're describing was mostly pretty young,
wasn't it? I guess Bill Osceola is older than he looks, or
Billy, one of them.
B: Surprisingly, neither of them is as old as I thought they were.
M: Well, my question to you is this: How did it happen that leader-
ship was entrusted to young people like that? The elders of
Indians are always said to have so much weight. What is your
explanation in this?
B: This is the type of question that generally bugs me. Because
my answer is the basis of my analysis.
M: Well, of course, that is what's valuable here.
B: I have a feeling that with the... is the word "upsurgence"?
M: That's a good word. Upsurgence.
B: Of nationalism by the blacks and the reds... that it hit these
young Indian people, and they felt that they had to take an
active part in their own society, in order to get any place.
That the establishment, which was represented by the young
people, the Billy Osceolas, were not doing enough for the tribe.
And that to be heard, the young people had to assume a leader-
ship role, and the way they did it here is through elections.
M: What about the older ones? Why not the Frank Shores, the Josie
Billies, and all these, why aren't they at the helm? In Indian
history, you get the impression that the counsel of the old men
is very significant.
B: I have had this experience. But I think that these young fellows
probably influenced the old-timers, to the extent that they did






6
not actively participate or campaign against them. They just
took it for granted. They just stepped back, and let the young
people win. And they won decisively. This is the interesting
thing. Now, it could've been that maybe the word filtered down,
to people that were for the establishment, that there was some-
thing more for the tribe to get -- more development, higher eco-
nomic standard -- if they had a change in leadership. And so
maybe they went along with it passively. One of the biggest
things that I've noticed (one of my analyses of the Seminoles)
is that passive resistance is their forte. They won't actively
resist, but they'll passively resist. They just do nothing.
M: Well, reverting back to that issue of the matter of extending
their loan, in the early days, did they extend it or didn't
they?
B: No.
M: They did not.
B: No, Joe Dan [Osceolal and Bettie Mae Jumper campaigned against
it, and immediately after the election the council rejected the
idea. This was all done prior to my coming. One of the things
that the commissioner had talked to me about was the generation
of some income for the Seminole people. Now, I'm going to quote
figures, and these are just by memory, so they won't be accurate,
but they're...
M: Useful...
B: Relatively. The total operating costs of the Seminole governing
body about the time I got here was approximately sixty thousand
dollars. They needed this kind of money to operate their govern-
ment.
M: For a year?
B: Yeah, that's for their council expenses and for official travel.
M: That isn't much, under present conditions.
B: Their total income about this time, that could be used for carry-
ing out council business was between forty and fifty thousand






7
dollars. So each year they were going into debt. One of the
early things that I noted when I came down was that they had
ten enterprises that they were operating. I could list them
if necessary, but you recall them. They were grocery stores,
the textile factory out in Brighton...
M: No, I don't know, and I would be interested in it, if you would
list them.
B: The woodworking factory at Big Cypress, the arts and crafts...
M: Yes, that one I'm familiar with.
B: And the village.
M: Yes.
B: Now, they maybe work together -- the village and the arts and
crafts -- but they also had the muck pit where Mr. Tiger had
his accident.
M: What was that for? Fertilizer?
B: Well, that was just...
M: ...organic material to be sold?
B: Organic material to be sold.
M: I see.
B: They had the campground area, and their livestock enterprises.
There are two or three of those. That's one for each reservation,
Big Cypress and Brighton. They all used and involved money, and
never once in the history of these enterprises did they make a
nickel. They went in the red every year. So I pointed out to
the new leaders that this is not the way to stay in business.
I said if a business has had a reasonable chance of proving
itself, and it doesn't improve itself, you eliminate it. You
close it down and try something else. Well this, this was hard
for the Seminole people to swallow. And I can see that, because
money doesn't have the same value to them that it does to us.
M: No, it's a different concept, I think.






8
B: So they protested this. But finally Joe Dan, the president of
the board, which, incidentally, handles the tribal enterprises...
M: Yes.
B: ...kind of saw the light, and he started closing down these
various and sundry enterprises. Then this is where the agita-
tion against the superintendent started to grow. But we did
close down all of the enterprises with the exception of the
cattle industry which so many people were involved in. It's
still losing money, but not to a great extent; and the arts
and crafts and village. Because I felt that there are certain
things that you have to keep open, even if they're costly to
your organization, because they serve other purposes besides
monetary gain. In other words, it might be social aid, it
might be a refuge for indigents--I can go into this later on.
This village and this arts and crafts deal out there has be-
come a social refuge to the Seminole people.
M: Yes, I get your point. It's something for them to do.
B: They can put them to work. Somebody destitute, they put them
to work over there; even though it does lose money, they put
them to work and pay them a little money.
M: Yes.
B: So, they closed down the enterprises, and their problem was
what to do to make some money. Since I am a natural resource-
oriented person, I felt the only resource that the tribe owned
that had immediate value was their land. This land had been
lying idle for years and years, and to me this is a waste. So,
we just pulled the sprags out of the personnel wheel and said
go out and find some lessees for this land.
M: Did they find some?
B: Oh, yes. In fact, as part of the national policy, they had a
staff searching for business opportunities, in the Washington
office. They had them stationed throughout the country, and one
of our people here got a lead from Washington. This was the man
that ultimately leased two hundred plus acres of the Hollywood
reservation, and pays an annual rent. Now, to me, this is
phenomenal. He pays an annual rent to the tribe, of a thousand






9
dollars an acre.
M: And how many acres have you rented?
B: Roughly speaking, two hundred at Hollywood Reservation.
M: Wow. How long is his lease?
B: Fifty-five years.
M: Well, in other words, they've about quadrupled the income they
used to have. You said they used to take in forty or fifty
thousand dollars a year.
B: Now, the last full year that I was down here, their income was
somewhere like four hundred thousand dollars. Which is quite
a change, to me. So I feel that my tenure was very successful,
as far as the Seminole economics is concerned.
M: Well, many years ago, Goggin, an anthropologist, and I went up
and testified for them before the Indian Claims Commission in
that endless litigation. That was when Howard Tiger was presi-
dent. We came down here and we were fair-haired boys, because,
of course, we testified for them. They took us all around, and
I went out and watched that tomato operation they had going out
there. Are you familiar with that?
B: Yes.
M: They had leased that to some outfit. When did that sort of
thing get started?
B: Well, that was started, I imagine, ten years earlier.
M: Well, candor's worth a good deal in these things. I mean, un-
candid history is not worth a hoot. Somebody has to tell it like
it is, as the modern saying goes. Go ahead. You had an experience,
if you're willing' to relate it.
B: Well, it's out of context now.
M: That doesn't matter. This is no continuous narrative.
B: You know the Bureau of Indian Affairs is kind of all-inclusive






10
in disciplines. We have an education department; we have a
social department, or welfare, whatever you want to call it;
a roads department; and the whole bit. We have a feeling
that education is the key to the development of people. So
we were conscious of the fact that the Seminoles, as a group
of people, were probably as highly illiterate as any group of
people in the United States. Their educational history is very
poor. I'm not trying to go into the background of why. I
don't understand why. A people who have had contact with
European cultures as long as the Seminoles have, yet have re-
sisted the formality of education of any kind as long as they
have. I can't understand it. Unless you tie it in with their
obstinacy and their stubbornness. They were so-called conquered,
after a very stubborn resistance, and they finally said, well,
we're licked. But we're not gonna give in. And we're still
stubborn. But the leadership of the tribe reflects this educa-
tional level in a sense. Bill and Billy Osceola, one of them
was illiterate and the other was semi-illitereate. One of
them probably read at about the second or third grade level,
was able to write his own name. The other could not read or
write a thing.
M: I didn't realize that.
B: Most of their contact with outside society was through their
secretary. They were wise enough to pick up a secretary that
could communicate. And it actually in a sense turned out that
this lady was the Seminole leader. Because she would tell them
what she read, and she would slant it or interpret it her own
way. And so, consequently, she was making the decisions for the
tribe. The'd go along. They were the mouthpieces. The Seminole,
particularly Seminole men, are interested in athletics. And the
year after I got here, I heard that we had three high school grad-
uates who had received football scholarships over at Tampa. I
thought this was fine. We had three nice-looking young fellows
from the Seminoles, over there. And if they ever finished, they
would be the natural leaders of this tribe, to come back and take
over the leadership of the tribes. One of them was Bettie Mae
Jumper's son, another one was Howard Tiger's son, and another
one was Bill Osceola's nephew. Now, they had all come from fami-
lies who had, at one time or another, assumed a leadership role
in the tribe. So it was natural to think that these kids would
ultimately become the tribal leaders. One day we received word
from the university that they were placing these three boys on






11
scholastic probation. It was about time to start the baseball
season. I figured it was about time that we went over and tried
to delve into this, why are these kids on scholastic probation.
So I took Mr. and Mrs. Jumper, Bettie Mae and her husband, I
took Mrs. Tiger...
M: Howard was gone by this time?
B: Oh, Howard was dead, yes. The other one, Moses Osceola, his
parents were both busy. Mrs. Law, our education specialist,
also went over. And we had a conference with advisers, one of
the administrators of the school, and tried to get all three of
the boys in there, to have a heart-to-heart discussion of this
whole matter. Of course, one of the boys couldn't miss baseball
practice. It was more important to play baseball than it was
to find out about his future. So he didn't show up. The other
two boys did. Two of the three. Being polite, the school people
were ill at ease in a situation like this. They were beating
around the bush. They weren't coming right out and laying it
on the table. So I interceded in the discussion, and I said,
if we don't tell the truth, and lay it out here in the open,
we're not going to accomplish anything. And I said, are you
trying to tell us that the three fellows we're talking about
are not college material? They said yes, that's what I think
I'm trying to say. And he took each person separately, and said,
this person, definitely is not. This person, could make it, with
maximum effort. He would probably never be better than a low C
student, but he could make it. The third one, he could if he'd
apply himself. He was probably a little brighter, I'm not sure
which. Nevertheless, of the three, there was one of them that
possibly could, another one that barely could, and the third one,
no chance. So I tried to find out if they had analyzed the
situation, if they could give me a reason why these students--
and one of the things that I decry are--what do they call them,
social promotions in school, where you don't do the work, but
you're old enough, and you ought to...what do they call that?
M: I don't know. But I know what you mean. They either fail you
and kick you out, or else they advance you.
B: Well, I think that some of these kids were advanced by this means.
Until they finally got a...but they all played football. They
were marvelous football players, they had good physique, they
were nice-looking boys, they were about six feet tall, weighed






12
175, 180 pounds, you know, great big, good-looking kids. They
were not off-beat. They had their hair long, but it was clubbed
nicely, it was cut off to where it was neat. One of the school
people said the best thing that could happen to these fellows
would be to take them out of school and make them go to work
away from their environment. Away from the reservation. He says,
send them down here to the waterfront and get them jobs as long-
shoremen, where they had to rely on their own abilities. And if
something went wrong, that they didn't have any place to turn.
Because, he says, these fellows have had such a protected life
that they do not have to assume any responsibilities. They know
that the government is going to take care of them. Or if the
government doesn't take care of them, the tribe will take care
of them. And he says, this has ruined, in a sense, these three
boys. And he says, the best thing that could happen to these
fellows is to stick them off by themselves. He also mentioned
another interesting thing. He said that in a course of testing
through their freshman year, there were certain questions that,
when they were pulled out of the test and analyzed by themselves,
showed a peculiar situation. And this was the degree of let's
call it aggressiveness or, he said, masculinity, in the sense--
not sex-wise, but to differentiate between a retiring, effeminate
type of person and a masculine person. Assuming that the bully,
the guy that makes all the decisions, would be a hundred and the
very effeminate type of person there at the bottom would be zero,
then average would be somewhere along in the forty to sixty brack-
et. Well, he went further to explain that a woman who was a young,
early widow, that had to rear a family and buy the automobile,
buy the home, make the decisions, might respond in the masculine
way, because she was the decision-maker in the family. And you
might have also a milk-toast type of man who would be very effemi-
nate. But he said when they tested the Seminole kids, do you know
where they were?
M: Way low?
B: Here, great big, burly fellows, in the around 20 to 28 bracket.
Clear down in the effeminate side of the scale. To me, this was
one of the most devastating situations to find. When it comes to
education, here we had three fellows that were not going to make
it, and we had the same situation that existed probably with all
the Seminole kids in school today. And so, it's going to be a
continuous thing.






13
M: It's a cultural attribute, you suggested. They're gentle people,
fundamentally. Not very aggressive.
B: So, I came back here, and I was all wrought up. I tried to get
even the school to start out with Head Start, in kindergarten,
to get some aggressiveness, independence injected into these
kids, rather than this protective shield they have over them.
I don't think it got very far. Because there's a sad thing that
exists in southern Florida, or in all of Florida, about the
Seminole Indians. And that is that the public has put the
Seminole Indian on a pedestal, that they can do no wrong, they're
the glamorous, glorious Indians. And this has done the Seminoles
more harm, I think, in their own life, than could happen to them.
M: With regard to that what happened to these kids? Did they get
thrown out of the university?
B: One of them, yes.
M: They didn't stay.
B: No. One of them came down here, and he might be going this year
to Broward Junior College. There's a possibility of this. I
think Mike Tiger went to work. Because his mother is a very am-
bitious, very intelligent woman.
M: She's a Cherokee, I believe.
B: Yes, she's a Cherokee, and they will work. So Mike is a worker.
The other one, Big Shot, or Moses Jumper Junior -- I know this,
he has transferred, I think, to five different schools in the
two years. And I don't think he's completed his freshman work
yet.
M: Well, one problem in that, I'd like to ask you about -- how did
these kids test out in reading? Could they read? They probably
read at a very primitive level, didn't they?
B: I'm glad you asked that. I'd forgotten it. It's one of the keys
to this.
M: I think it is. They can't read, probably.
B: In the various tests that were given these kids, the Seminole






14
students rated just as high, or above the norm, in analysis.
Thinking. Where they fell down was in anything that necessi-
tated reading for understanding. They lacked the capacity to
understand the English language. Whether it's spoken or writ-
ten or read.
M: They never learned to read very well, probably.
B: And the words have no meaning to them.
M: Yes. Well, in other words, their problem, besides being cul-
tural, is the character of their earlier education, to some
degree.
B: Oh, definitely. Definately. And this is where I decried this,
what you call, social promotion.
M: Yes.
B: They didn't teach those kids to read. They shoved them on, and
we find this is true in other societies. But, it's particularly
damaging to the Seminole.
M: Well, how did the parents of these kids react? They were sitting
there when these statements were made by the officials, were they
not?
B: Well, we had two parents there, Mrs. Tiger and Mrs. Jumper.
M: Right.
B: And there was an interesting little sidelight here. Mrs. Jumper
is Howard Tiger's sister.
M: Sister. Yes.
B: So, it was all a big family, in a sense.
M: Except Osceola--well, nobody was representing him anyway.
B: No. No. Mrs. Tiger realized that Mike was neglecting to study.
Mrs. Jumper, who was a Tiger originally, was rationalizing for
"Big Shot." Saying, well, I didn't want Big Shot to come to
this school in the first place. He should have been going up






15
to Gainesville to the agricultural school because he wants --
Fred Montsdeoca's job. He wants to work with cattle. Also
that he was a good baseball player, and Howard was a good
baseball player.
M: I remember that.
B: And that he could probably make a good living playing baseball.
On the other hand, her husband, who was with us, Moses Senior,
told her that she was wrong. I was surprised that the Jumper
family were divided in this. The father was critical of his
son for not studying, and the mother rationalized.
M: How much does the father of these families have to do with
bringing up the children? Did you have a chance to observe
that? It used to be that the father didn't have much connec-
tion with it, in the early tribal era.
B: Well, the parents in the Seminoles have very little to do with
the rearing of the children, in a sense.
M: Who does rear them?
B: The mother is probably the most influential, but the aunt and
the grandmothers, in the old camp. The idea of a single unit,
single family unit, is fairly new to the Seminole culture. You
know this.
M: Yes.
B: Normally they lived in a camp; the grandparents, the aunts and
the uncles and the whole clan, like, lived in the same complex
of chickees. And much of the discipline -- and their reasoning
for it was kind of logical -- was done by the uncles and aunts
and the grandpeople. Because they felt that, if a parent punished
the child, this would break down the relationship, the feelings
between the parents and the child. And, so, it would be better
for someone else to punish this child for a wrongdoing rather
than a parent. Now this might work fine when you're in this
conglomerate, expanded family type of thing. But when you pull
the parents and their children out, by themselves, and the par-
ents have never disciplined their children, you have a chaotic
situation. And this is exactly what happened.






16
M: What's the ultimate upshot of that? I mean, how does this get
expressed in the society? Are the kids being hopelessly de-
linquent, or what?
B: Absolutely. They defy their parents; they do pretty much
what they please. But there are a few families down here
that are just the opposite. In other words, they're rather
strict and severe with their children. And I don't know whether
they are criticized by the other people or not. I can't tell
you that. But, in most instances, the delinquency among the
younger children is very high. And, I could tell you stories
that just would make you hair curl, about delinquency.
M: Why don't you tell me one or two that are representative? I
mean, this type of thing is crucial. Don't use names, just
the kind of thing that happens. It's crucial to the culture,
and if they don't resolve it, who knows what lies ahead for
them?
B: If you recall, I mentioned the campground they had right down
here on Hollywood reservation. It had spots for about 100
campers. Now, it was an underdeveloped campground, it wasn't
a highly developed one. People did a lot of tent camping or
sometimes it was an Apache type, a little trailer attachment
type of thing. Oftentimes they'd be gone during the day, and
the tents would be left unattended, and we'd have repeated com-
plaints about thievery. There was quite a rash of stealing
occurred one time. One man lost, we'll say, a cooler with a
case of beer and a couple of quarts of booze. Another one lost
sleeping bags, another one lost all of his clothes, and another
one lost a camera. The police got to it, and, by golly, the
kids were playing house. Now, often times, this is something
else, because the parents still pay too little attention to them.
They don't have a curfew or deadline for the kids to come home,
they come wandering in all the time. In this instance, some
of the kids didn't come home at all. Some of the social workers,
tribal social workers...
M: Herself an Indian -- or himself?
B: Yes, a woman. Thought that she might know where they were.
We're talking about a group of kids from nine years old to
twelve or thirteen. And they found them back in the deep
woods -- this was before it was cleared off-- right near the






17
campground. There was some real dense jungle-type. They had
carved themselves some niches out in there, and they were all
playing house. These young kids. Sleeping together, and carry-
ing on all the functions of man and wife, and they were caught
in the act. Some of the older boys and the younger girls, you
know.
M: Had they stolen stuff?
B: Oh, sure. They got it all back. I had to go over with the po-
licemen, they got them all in the tribal office over there,
and all the gear that was there, and the kids tried to say it
was somebody else. But they all had a hand in it. They got
slapped on the wrist verbally by the police officer, and I
think that's all that ever happened.
M: Do you happen to know--I mean, in individual cases--was that
succeeded by other delinquency?
B: Well.
M: Or did the kids straighten out?
B: Oh, no. No. The point is that these same kids were probably in
trouble most of the time. You know, from our social standard,
they were anti-social. They didn't do anything to conform to
normal ways.
M: Are any of them serving prison terms? Or do they get that far?
Are there Seminoles in the local or federal prisons? That is,
for extended terms; or do you know?
B: Oh, yes. There are some.
M: There are?
B: I know that while I was down there we had to authorize the parole
for one of the fellows from Big Cypress. So, I would judge that
there is probably a representative percentage of Seminoles in
jail. Again, there's something real funny about Seminole attitudes.
Now, it may be parental. But, do you know that tribal leaders were
advising their sons not to register?
M: For the draft?






18
B: For the draft. Did you know this?
M: No, I knew that in the beginning, nobody turned up for the draft.
Somebody told me that. I think Mrs. Fulton did, or somebody.
B: Well, let's say the young, 24 or 25 year olds, don't even know
probably what it was. And I know that since my tenure here--
now the draft's been on for a long time--I know that I've
brought this question up to Betty Mae. I said, Betty Mae, when
is your son going to serve his hitch in the military? And she
said, oh, the Seminoles don't have to. The Seminoles don't have
to go to the Army.
M: Is that legally true?
B: No. And I said, Betty, this can't be true. I said, this is a
federal law and there were no exceptions. No exemptions from
it. Except it's up to the respective draft board. As far as
registering for the draft, every Seminole boy, every male over
18 has to register for the draft. But, one of the young cattle-
men out at Brighton had a younger brother who lived here in
Hollywood, and someone had told him that he had to register for
the draft. And this fellow says, oh, Betty Mae came right out
and publicly announced that Seminoles didn't have to. Now I
understand that--again, this is just gossip, but it may have
a bearing--that the Miccosukees resisted education because they
figure that if you're an illiterate, you wouldn't have to serve
in the draft.
M: Flashing back to something you said earlier--you were out there
with the Blackfeet, or somebody, in '41, when the war began. What
was their war service record?
B: Oh, excellent.
M: Some of them went off and served?
B: Oh, yes. And when we were at Rosebud it was really sad and rather
pathetic, because...Carmen [Mrs. Barrett], do you remember the
Indian flute?
C: Oh, yes.
B: They would pick up these Sioux kids by the bus loads, because






19
this was in an isolated area, and when this bus would come to
the agency to pick up the load of recruits, there was an old,
old Indian that would sit on the hill and play a flute. It
was rather sad, because he knew these kids were going away to
war, and that some of them wouldn't return.
M: Some traditional...
B: It was part of some traditional thing.
M: Tune, I suppose.
B: But, I remember that this fellow's name was Old Iron Shell.
M: Well, do you have the impression that the Seminoles were against
involvement in the war?
B: Definitely. Except as individuals, now. Somebody like Bill
Cypress, he enlisted.
M: I know.
B: And quite a few of them enlist. But there are still a lot of
them that have nothing to do with it. And I think if you would
run the gammut of all the young fellows from the ages of 18 to
30, that you would find that the majority of them were not re-
gistered.
M: Among the older ones, are there some veterans of World War II?
Or do you know?
B: Oh, Moses Jumper is an ex...
M: Are there quite a few, or was it limited?
B: Oh, I think it was limited. I don't know.
M: Did they volunteer? The few that are?
B: I think so. I've never delved into it, but this was a shock
to me when I found out that one of the leaders was advising
against registering.
M: I don't suppose anybody has. In the connection you were talking






20
about, anthropology had a graduate student down here on summer.
He was a Danish boy named Scafti. You may have stumbled up a-
gainst him...
B: Yes, I remember him. I remember him well.
C: Was that the one that we had to dinner?
B: Up to the house. Yes.
M: He wrote a master's thesis that was really sort of what you're
saying, about the complete lack of discipline among them. And
he cited instances of just malicious vandalism, in which...
B: Of course. He was subject to some of it.
M: Stuff in the playground was just chopped down for no reason.
B: Sure. Right.
M: If I remember right, he contended that the young people were
very cruel to animals.
B: They're cruel...
M: ...in general?
B: Yes. I don't know about particular instances, but when there
are pets out on the reservation, they're not friendly.
M: I thought that thesis of his ought to have been published, but
I couldn't find any place to publish it. It would've been
highly controversial. And, of course, the Seminoles would have
hated it.
B: Well, the trouble is that...
C: Is there anywhere a person could get to read that?
M: Oh, yes. The library has it. It's on file, the library at the
university. You could borrow it through a local library, though.
Inter-library loan.
C: Oh, I wouldn't go through that.






21
M: Well, I think it would be a good idea. They will send it,
inter-library loan, to a library, you know.
C: Now, what's the title? Do you know?
M: Well, I'll send you the title. I can't remember.
B: Well, send me the copy.
M: Well, I don't have it in my possession. The library has them,
you know.
B: But, he was supposed to send me one.
M: Well, I could get that thing copied. On our dupe funds and
send you one. I will send you one. You were superintendent,
weren't you?
B: Right.
M: I'll send you a copy. It wouldn't cost...
B: And remember his wife? Was this real nice girl...
M: I never saw her.
B: Very nice looking girl.
M: But Scafti came to talk to me a few times, and I read the thesis.
B: He was an unusual fellow.
M: I'll send you a copy of it. I'll get it xeroxed and send you a
copy. We can pay the cost of getting it reproduced. That's
fair enough.
B: But wasn't he a herpetologist, or something?
M: No, he's an anthropologist. He completed that master's degree
with us, and then he went on to Colorado or some place for a
Ph.D., and I don't know what happened to him. But, his was a
sort of a strong indictment of the culture, that they were
hanging between cultures, you know.






22
B: Oh, they gave him a bad time here. I remember we hired him
for the summer program.
M: And why did they? I mean was he disagreeable personally, or...
B: No. No, in fact I wouldn't have taken the abuse as long as he
did, in a sense. I said we hired him. He was not hired by us;
I think he was hired by OEO. We could hire his wife, but he
was an alien, and we couldn't hire him.
M: His wife was employed, and then he kind of hung around, I gathered.
B: There was a little grant of some kind that he used.
M: I guess so.
B: They had the best interest of the Seminole at heart, but the
Seminole...
C: Because they were too honest people, you know.
B: I have a feeling that this was right.
M: That may be. Well, he wrote it up, so it's quite devastating.
B: In fact, I wouldn't write it personally, but I'd like to study
it a little bit and maybe lift a phrase or two out of it, to
see if it compares with some of my thoughts on this.
M: I have a notion it does. Some of the things you've described
to me, here, sort of what Scafti included in his observations.
This is brief, it's maybe a hundred pages or something .
B: Yes. Well, it's real strange about these people. Getting back
to the modern political situation, within this past year, there's
been a change of officers.
M: Yes.
B: And Joe Dan and Betty Mae were out.
M: Yes, I've met the present leadership. Howard Tommie.
B: Yes.






23
M: And Fred Smith. What does this represent, politically?
B: Well, you want my honest and candid opinion?
M: Yes. Of course.
B: Howard Tommie is maybe a nice fellow.
M: He's articulate. He talks to you very well. I chatted with
him.
B: He talks to you very well, but did you ever analyze what he
said?
M: No, you know, I just visited with him.
B: He is a little bit thick from here up. And I think he got into
office on the popularity of his father. Now, his father was
a very kind man and a popular Indian minister.
M: Of course.
B: A minister type. Probably a lay preacher. Everybody had a
kind word for him; they called him old man Tommie. Now,
Howard --
M: His sister is secretary-treasurer too, I think. Or some rela-
tive is, Dorothy Tommie.
B: That's his wife and she's secretary to Mike Jamer, the social
worker.
M: I see.
B: And his sister works in the bookkeeping. I think she is head
Seminole bookkeeper, or something like that. Now, I'm going
to say something. Ultimately use it for getting an impression,
but don't leave it in print, [mumbling] at this point. You
know that we have an NYC program down here.
M: What's that? National youths?
B: Yes. That's National Youths [Corps] Association. And it's
handled by the Department of Labor.






24
M: I see.
B: When I first came here, we had Jimmy Osceola, one of the re-
latives of the leaders, in the job as director. These jobs
pay eight to ten thousand dollars a year, a good job. But
here we had a Seminole that was semi-literate as NYC director,
doing a very poor job. And the administrators of the program
said he had to go. So they let him go. Now, the NYC regula-
tions say that to fit into certain categories, you must have
certain qualifications. So, basically, I suppose, one of
them said that they read and write, see. And there were no
Seminoles qualified for this job. None at all. But a young
Marine came back, and was doing, I thought, a pretty good job
around...
M: A Seminole?
B: Yes. A Seminole catch-colt. One of these that wasn't reared
on the reservation, but just on the fringes of it, by whites
mostly.
M: But was his parentage all Seminole, or was he half-white, or
what?
B: Half-white. The name was James Billie. And, well, he's kind
of a talented kid, so I interceded for him with the NYC people
and got him the job. And he started out like a house afire.
You know, he was right down at their level. By God, he got
down too close to their level. He started breeding all the
seventeen year old girls and getting drunk with the NYC boys,
and, you know, they were ages, let's say, fourteen on up. And
actually, I had him in the office once about his getting a
girl from the Trail pregnant. And, I didn't know at the time,
but he had two of them pregnant at the same time. And I figured
he ought to marry this girl or do something about it. He told
me, look, he says, most of the time people won't even admit
that they have caused this damage. He says, I'll admit it,
I'll claim the baby, but I'm not gonna marry her. Well, anyway,
he lost out of the NYC job. And the administrator came down
from Jacksonville or somewhere and came over, and he wanted to
know what I would suggest. I said, well, I think that you'd
be wise if you would get a qualified non-Seminole person to
head the program up. But make a second position, or establish






25
a second position, as a training position, under him, so that
you can train a Seminole to be a future director of this NYC
program. I said, this is my idea of the way it should go.
He thought this would be a good deal, and he approached the
leaders, the tribal leaders, but they wouldn't buy it. There
had to be a Seminole in the top position. And so who should
apply for that job, but Howard Tommie -- the present chairman.
M: Yes.
B: And this man came over and asked me about Howard Tommie. My
words about Howard Tommie were just about like this: Howard
Tommie is a nice guy. He likes kids. He's an ex-athlete.
And he likes to get out and play games with them. But, I said,
as far as administering the program or planning a program, I
said you won't be a bit further ahead with Howard Tommie than
you were with James Billie, or the fellow that was before him,
Jimmy Osceola. A little later he said, I want to show you some-
thing. He took out of his briefcase a slip of paper. He had
asked Howard Tommie to express himself in writing about a
certain question. Just like he'd ask me a question, ask me for
my answer. I didn't read it, but he said, look, I've got a.
sixth grade kid that can do a better job answering that question
than he did. So he went back, and he told them that, he told
the tribal leaders that he wasn't going to hire Howard Tommie.
Well they raised so much hell about Howard Tommie that he backed
down and ultimately hired him. They were looking, probably,
for reasons to pick on me, but they accused me of trying to
undermine Howard Tommie. And this was the furthest from my
thoughts. I was trying to be objective and honest with this
man, and I told him that I didn't think he would be any further
ahead, but I didn't recommend either he hire or fire him. Ex-
cept originally I told him I thought the best way the program
could be handled would be to hire a non-Indian and then set up
or establish that position. But Howard Tommie got the job.
He wasn't in the job a month before the handwriting was very
evident. He wasn't as good as the other fellow. In-fact, he
was, in many instances, poorer. But, this is the way it goes.
The Seminoles will fight for each other, and they don't think
you have to be qualified for anything as long as the govern-
ment puts up the money, you can put a body in this position.
And somebody else should do the work. This is their feeling.
M: Which is unfortunate.






26
B: It's too bad. All right, now you ask me some specific ques-
tions. I've been rambling on.
M: Which is the way it's best.
B: Well.
M: One thing I wanted to go back to -- remembering, well, before
we got on the social side, which has been fascinating -- was
the finance situation. And I take it you said that they over-
came their annual deficit, I guess, while you were superin-
tendent. Did they?
B: Oh, yes.
M: So they were getting in as much money as they spent?
B: Oh, yes. Yes. Now, there's an interesting sidelight to that.
I mentioned that when I first came here, their budget was about
sixty thousand dollars.
M: Yes.
B: Do you know what their budget was last year?
M: No, I do not.
B: Two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars.
M: And can they cover it?
B: Oh, yes.
M: Well, they get something like two hundred thousand dollars
from that one lease?
B: Yes.
M: And where's the rest of their income come from?
B: Well, they get a little bit from their agriculture leases.
Then they also have a drive-in theatre, and another mobile
home court.
M: That is on their property?






27
B: Yes, down here. They have leases that bring in... remember I
was telling you about the one for fifty-thousand dollars.
M: Yes. In other words, their money mostly comes from the leas-
ing of the land. Is that right?
B: Yes.
M: Does the tribe get anything out of the cattle herd?
B: No. In fact, the tribe subsidizes the cattle business.
M: It does?
B: In other words, the tribe charges the cattlemen nothing for
the use of the tribal land.
M: I see.
B: So this is a subsidy.
M: They run it as a communal herd, though.
B: No.
M: They herd together, don't they?
B: No.
M: They run their own?
B: They're individual ownership, but they're grouped together in
small groups, to be able to stock and manage the pastures prop-
erly.
M: Oh, yes.
B: Because these are developed pastures. Now, we were starting
to talk a little bit about the vegetable growing and about
how it started out there. The tomato, I don't know how long
it's been going on, but I would judge about fifteen years now.
M: Must have been -- when Goggin and I testified ten or so years






28
ago, it was running then, I watched it.
B: Yes. It's been about fifteen years. And this was a program
that was initiated, or at least abetted, by the need for more
pastures to be developed.
M: I remember about that.
B: So, they would grant a development lease to these vegetable
growers. S and M farms. And the S and M farms would clear the
land, level it, border it, put in the necessary wells or pumps,
and use the land for two or three years. They would then seed
it or sprig it and turn it back to the tribe. They paid a mini-
mal rent for it. But the aggregate rent -- that's the value of
their improvement -- I judge it was worth a hundred and fifty,
two hundred dollars an acre. Because it would cost that much
to clear, level, and do everything else necessary.
M: So do individual Seminoles make a pretty good income out of
cattle?
B: Some of them. Some of them make twelve, fourteen, fifteen
thousand dollars. Frank Shore, you know Frank Shore?
M: I know who he is. I have met him.
B: He's one of the...
M: Successful ones?
B: Yes. Frank's an old-timer, and he's a very fine, quiet man.
Also, a medicine man. And I think he is probably as honorable
and honest a man as you can find. Bill Osceola has done very
well in the cattle business. He's a very ambitious man and he
wants to do other things, he likes heavy equipment. He's al-
ways getting involved in some sketchy business deal, off to the
side, that involves heavy equipment. And he generally always
loses money. But, this is his love, see.
M: Well, if a Seminole makes twelve or fourteen thousand dollars
a year, what does he do with it? Do you know? I mean, do
they build an estate with it?
B: No. No, it's just generally dissipated.






29
M: You don't have what you'd call a wealthy Seminole that you
know of?
B: No, except in material goods, they might be. Now, I don't
know what your level of wealth might be, but if he has a
cattle herd that's worth sixty or seventy thousand dollars,
why, in fact, he's a wealthy Seminole.
M: That would be pretty wealthy, wouldn't it?
B: Yes.
M: Particularly if they don't think in terms of capital, especial-
ly, and here's capital from which we'll earn.
B: But they have...
M: I've always had the impression that the Seminoles, as a tribe
or group, had some capital someplace. Is that wrong?
B: That's wrong.
M: They don't have some...
B: Money. They...
M: They have their land.
B: They did have a small sum of money in the treasury, but this
amounted to just a pittance, in a sense, and I don't think
that they have any in the treasury right now. They've taken
it, pulled it all out and deposited it locally. Now, the
Seminoles, in a sense, are not using their money unwisely at
this time. But I think they are doing it because of the pres-
sure of the bureaucrats trying to get them to do certain things.
To give you an example of this, I felt that the group here in
Hollywood got the cream of everything. The outlying reserva-
tion didn't benefit by all the things that the local people
did. In other words, local people got the jobs, if there
were any. If they were living here. They got to meet the
people, were closer to the centers of culture, so these other
people were disadvantaged. Opportunities for work here were
much greater than there were in other places. Because you
had to come in from Big Cypress or Brighton to do this. So I






30
felt that when we reached a point of getting sufficient income,
that this income should be earmarked for distribution in a cer-
tain manner. And, in a nutshell, I felt it should be this way:
that there should be enough money taken off the top to pay the
expenses of the tribal operation. Number two: that the rest of
it should be divided up into four segments. One of them would
be earmarked, or deposited, for the Hollywood tribe. And a
fourth of it deposited for each of the other.
M: Including the Trail?
B: No. They had nothing to do with it. Then a fourth of it put in
this pure savings.
M: Oh, I see. That's the other quarter.
B: In other words, I would skim off the top for tribal expenses
and then divide the other piece up into four quarters, one to
each reservation, and then twenty-five per cent for savings.
And this would be pure savings. I told them where I had thought
that if they would do this, in five or six years time, they
could be classed as millionaires. Well, they fought this idea
at first and didn't put any money up, but ultimately they did.
They put, I think, twenty-five thousand dollars from the first
big check they got. They took twenty-five thousand dollars and
deposited it for Big Cypress Brighton Hollywood. Twenty-
five thousand dollars for savings. And then they did something
that I thought was fabulous -- they set up a scholarship fund.
Now, they started out, I think, with only two thousand dollars.
And then it became a big joke. Because the two thousand dollars
became Betty Mae Jumper's personal bank account for her own kids.
You know. Which she needed, but that was the thing about it. But,
this is what I wanted them to do, to set up a program of what to
do with money. Because, in general, the Seminoles evaluate money
differently than we do. Money is something to use, to spend. Any-
way they can get it, they will get it, they have no qualms about
paying it back. They don't bother to pay it back, if they can get
away with it. In other words, there are a lot of the Seminoles
that are deadbeats of the first water. Betty Mae Jumper is one of
them; she's one of the worst. I could go into that in detail, to
prove my point, but...we've had them thoroughly investigated for
credit purposes, and she has probably the poorest credit of any-
body.






31
M: Well, the superintendent can't dictate to them what they'll
finally do with their tribal money, can he? I mean, you can
only recommend.
B: And advise.
M: But does the superintendent have the right to know what they're
doing with it? I mean, is it easy for him to find out?
B: Yes. It is, because the point is that they do not have the
capacity to, let's say, manage their own affairs.
M: Yes.
B: And, so they have to rely on the bureaucrats to do this. Now,
for years we've had a man down there that everytime they got
stuck in their bookeeping system -- he was an employee -- they
would come over and say, well, can Golden come over and work
with us and help us out. So we would have a man in there --
right in the midst of the bookkeeping. So we knew what was go-
ing on all the time. I don't know whether there are any rules,
regulations, that say that they have to permit the government
to do this. But, I think that the government is in a position
to tighten up certain rules and regulations so that it would be
necessary for them to divulge information. Particularly if
they are using money borrowed from the government.
M: When they finally get some money from the United States, as they
eventually will on their suit with the Indian claims commission--
as you know, they rejected twelve and a half million on the grounds
of insufficience-- what will they do with it, in your judgement?
How is it going to be handled. Will the Bureau put some limita-
tion on the degree to which they can...
B: No, the Bureau might not, but I think Congress will probably put
the limitations on it, that would say that it cannot be paid out
in per capital. This will probably be an act.
M: Yes, a specific appropriation. They've done it in other Indian
tribes, I guess. They never let them pay it all out, I hope.
B: Right. But, one of the things that you have to bear in mind; I
guess only twenty percent of the Seminoles will benefit from it.






32
M: Why is that?
B: The Florida Seminoles. Because the bulk of them are up there.
M: You mean in Oklahoma?
B: Oklahoma.
M: Yes. How about the Trail people? Do they cash in on that? Are
they part of the suit?
B: Reportedly. Reportedly. But, of course, the Trail people are
still anti-anti. They're anti-everything. And they've withdrawn
some of their support of the Seminoles, not wanting any part and
parcel of this Seminole attempt to collect this money.
M: Were they already a separate entity when you came in?
B: Yes.
M: Do they have a separate superintendent?
B: Yes it's a separate agency.
M: How did that happen?
B: Well, it's a long story. You've got time, I can tell you at
least a little of it.
M: Well, if you've got the strength -- are you wearing out?
B: No.
M: There's a little more on this tape, and I'll put in another one.
B: Do you remember, I mentioned the fact that this nationalism among
Indians developed, I'd say, about the time that I came down here,
a little bit before, about five or six years ago. As part of
this ethnic uprising in this country, that is, the Negroes were
doing it, and the Czechs were doing it. The former Secretary of
the Interior had a feeling that the Bureau of Indian Affairs should
be run by Indians. A program for Indians should be run by Indians.
He had forgotten, I suspect, that all of the bureaucratic leaders
in the bureau were Indian, at that time. Leonard Norwood was
Indian. And so on, down the list.






33
M: They don't sound like Indians.
B: No, but they were all Indians. But, he wanted a change of lead-
ership. He named Mr. Louis Bruce, who is a real fine gentleman,
but he was indoctrinated with the fact that Indians should domi-
nate the Bureau of Indian Affairs. So they eliminated all of
the top leadership in the bureau. And he brought in the noisy
protesters from the field, that is the urban agitators, and in-
stalled them in positions of authority and policy-making in the
bureau. They were all young, and this was good. They were fel-
lows that had stepped into positions at, say, twenty-five thou-
sand dollar a year salaries, without any prior experience --
without any, let's say, basic training. One of them just finished
high school. A fellow named Stevens. And they brought him in
as the head of their social department. And these fellows would
say, well, "You may know more about it than I do, but give me
thirty days and I'll know all about this program." You know,
get thirty days. And the members of the establishment -- and
I'm one of the members of the establishment -- the old, tra-
ditional, bureaucratic, found ourselves out on a limb, anti-,
against many of the policies that these young fellows were in-
jecting into this thing. Now, this filtered down to the reser-
vation. About that time, somebody on the Zuni reservation in
New Mexico came up with what they called the Zuni plan. In it
there was an ambitious program of development of the Zuni reser-
vation, using government money. It would entail the government
appropriating about five times their normal budget, for a certain
number of years, to develop the Zuni Reservation. But they
were going to take over all of the functions of the government
on the reservation. In other words, the superintendent was going
to be replaced with the tribal leader. The heads of departments
were going to be either replaced with Indians or would be work-
ing for the tribe. And Louis Bruce's group in Washington bought
this program, lock, stock, and barrel. And then they sent it
around to the other reservations as an example of what might be
done, recommending that others go this direction. Well, this
just opened Pandora's box for these Indian tribes, because they
could see all of the money that was appropriated coming through
their hands, and they figured that they might be able to get
their own fingers on a little bit. There are roughly eight
hundred thousand dollars spent annually for the Seminoles. You
know, that averages a little over eight hundred dollars apiece.
That was for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This doesn't in-
clude the money from Public Health or other government agencies.






34
M: You're talking about the Florida Seminoles?
B: Yes, Florida Seminoles. Our program approximated eight hundred
thousand dollars a year. As soon as this takeover--we call it
the takeover policy--was introduced, immediately Fred Smith,
the tribal secretary now, was not in an elected position, he
was hired by Joe Dan. He got to thinking, by golly, we can get
our hands on some of this eight hundred thousand dollars and
we could put Indians into all of these key positions, including
himself. He wanted Fred Montsdeoca's job, see. Now, Fred Monts-
deoca has a master's degree in agriculture and forty years of
experience. But here's a fellow that probably just finished
high school. Oh, Fred Smith, I think he'd gone to junior col-
lege. But, he was gonna immediately step into this position,
at Fred's salary. They were going to take over my position. I
heard that Betty Mae Jumper, who is a semi-literate, came with-
in an inch of being my successor, getting the superintendency
down here. And it would have been pitiful. Now, I have nothing
personally against Betty, you know, she's a kind, nice person.
But as far as capacity and capabilities are concerned, she has
none. But that's the way it is. Now, I'm going to give you an
example of how their thinking is. My proposal to counteract
this takeover--I thought that I was being reasonable about it,
and I still think it was a reasonable approach--was to train
an Indian for every position that the Seminoles could aspire to
take over, that they should be trained and qualified for the job.
And to do this, the government should spend money enough to train
the Seminoles for this particular discipline. Now, there are
lots down there that could be handled by Seminoles. And the
tribe thought this was a good idea, because up to this point
they'd gotten nothing, and they thought this was as ideal situ-
ation, but Howard Tommie got up and argued against it. He said,
what do you think we should do? And I said, well, you should
have just the same as an apprentice program, and hire somebody
at a reasonable living wage, for two or three years and con-
centrate on showing him the ropes. And he said, well, why don't
you pay him as much as you do the top man? Now, this is his
philosophy. You pay the guy that's training, just as much as
the other guy. And I said, well, Howard, you're being unreasonable.
You can't do that. This to me would be just as much of a waste, but
this whole Indian takeover, has hit the forefront, and lots of
people using the money, as a carrot and the stick, bought it. And
the Bureau of Indian Affairs has become a real chaotic situation
since.






35
M: Is Bruce the present Indian commissioner?
B: Yes.
M: Well, now, with regard to the Miccosukees and their relation-
ship to this...
B: All right. The Miccosukees agreed to take over.
M: Their own affairs?
B: Their own affairs. But all they had down there, was the edu-
cational department. That's all they had. So, the Miccocukees
have taken over the management of the school. The government
underwrites it, and the superintendent has since moved. Dave
Buford Morrison, a nice guy and another Indian too. And now
this is the irony of it: an Indian will be in a position of
leadership, like down there at Miccosukee. And they want to
get into this program, they want to take over, by themselves,
and so they take over. And the man who is actually in the lead-
ership role down there is a Doctor Rabein and he's white. But
they had good leadership with an Indian.
M: What is he doctor of?
B: I don't know, doctor of philosophy or something. He's head of
the NYC program now. The OEO program.
M: But they don't have an Indian for superintendent any longer?
B: No, but he's the compare of Buffalo Tiger.
M: And they relate to the U.S. government through him?
B: Well, the point is they don't relate to the government through
him, except that he advises Buffalo. He's running the program,
for all intents and purposes. As far as the government is con-
cerned, Doctor Rabein has no official status. But he does that
for the tribe.
M: Buffalo Tiger's not considered a superintendent? Is he? Or
agent? He's just the chief executive officer.
B: No, no. In fact, he's the chief executive officer of the tribe.






36
M: How many have they got down there?
B: Oh, maybe four hundred.
M: Which is roughly one-quarter of the whole tribe, I guess. Around
fifteen hundred, aren't there?
B: Yes.
M: Today?
B: Roughly.
M: Have you ever seen any fundamental difference between the Micco-
sukee speakers and the Creek speakers? I mean, other than the
fact they want to be considered so? Do you see any basic racial,
or whatever you want to call it, tribal characteristics?
B: Yes and no. This is a kind of qualified answer. Because I don't
know the meaning of it, and oftentimes I'm not sure, because
there's some intermarriage between the Miccosukees and the Creeks.
So I might be talking about how fine the Creek people are, and the
person I'm referring to might be Miccosukee, you know, I'm not
sure. There is a definate difference in their outlook, attitude,
their relationship with the surrounding community. And I attribute
this, probably, to the fact that the Big Cypress people and the
Miccosukee people retreated back into the swamps, and they were
more isolated for a longer period of time than the ones at Brighton.
And the Brighton people, the Cow Creeks, probably were surrounded
by white society, in their respective farm Indian camps, or what-
ever you might call them. So they accepted, we'll say, our culture
to much greater degree than this group that were concentrated back
in the swamps. Other than that, I don't think there's that much
difference in them.
M: Did you ever develop any capability to follow the language, either
one of them?
B: No.
M: They're pretty difficult?
B: Yes.






37
M: Not many white men can. Do you know any that can? West can
talk some Miccosukee. Do you know anybody else that can?
B: Charlie Knight.
M: Can he talk?
B: Yes. He can talk a little bit, now, I think it's Creek. I
think he can talk.
M: Yes, but either of them.
B: Other than that, I don't know of anybody. Way back on the early
days, in the Blackfeet, I made up my mind, you know, coming out
of school, and I wasn't a kid -- I was 34 when I came to work
for the government -- I decided I'd learn to speak with the
people. I felt that this was the way to get to them. I picked
up a few words of the Blackfeet tongue, and then they trans-
ferred me to the Sioux, which is an entirely different lan-
guage.
M: Yes.
B: So I started learning a little bit of Sioux. And then I was
transferred again. You know.
M: It must be tough.
B: So, the first thing you know, you give it up. There's one thing
that's universal, and that's the sign language. And that would
be the thing for a person to talk. Particularly with the Plains
Indians.
M: What do you mean, are there specific signs that everyone under-
stands?
B: Yes. One tribe to another. It's a kind of universal language
among them.
M: Is that so?
B: Yes. And it's really interesting to sit there and watch members
of two different tribes sit there and talk with their hands.
They're very good.






38
M: I've never seen this done.
B: Well, if someone asked me today to sum up the Seminole people,
after four years of working very closely with them, I would
say that I have to admire them for their stubborness and their
obstinacy--they aren't easily swayed, they are ultraconservative.
They're conservative to a degree that is harmful. Because they
will not take the chance, when it comes to speculating with their
own money. There are several things about the Seminoles that,
with our insight or background, we decry, and one of them is the
morality among them. But, as far as the Indian people are concerned,
it's not immoral, it's amoral: they are without morals.
M: From our point of view.
B: From our point of view.
M: It's a different culture.
B: They have very little economics management ability. They cannot
manage people or money, as it applies in a business sense. And
this, I think, is the reason that all of their enterprises fail.
They feel that if there is money brought into a business, it
can be spent without considering the needs of the business itself.
This is their big weakness in our society, because we are dollar-
oriented. And they are not.
M: That's probably why Louise Jones had problems in accounting, you
know. Culturally, she probably didn't get it.
B: Oh, no.
M: What is it all about? I never thought of that, but I'll bet that's
one reason.
B: I think this is right.
M: They could use a few trained bookkeepers of their own, that they
could trust.
B: There are a few.
M: Accountants.
B: Yes. There are a few that come in there, but they're unimagi-






39
native, in a sense. If they've been taught something, two and
two is four--it's, two and two is four. But if it's two, one,
and one, it's different.
M: They don't get the system, I think, culturally they don't get
it.
B: Right. But, getting back to another little vignette--about the
ability of the Seminoles to assimilate the English language--an
Alaskan Eskimo wandered down here one time and dropped in at
our place for a job. We referred him to the state hospital, or
state training school, down the road a ways. They were looking
for attendants. We asked him to report back to us, to Mr. Jamer
and Mrs. Tommie, Dorothy Tommie. And the fellow got the job, no
problem. And we asked him about it, and he said, well, the only
thing about it was that they gave him a little test to answer
before he got the job. Because he had to be able to read and
write, because the instructions from one shift to another were,
were written. For instance, if the attendant was watching a par-
ticularly dangerous or ill person, they'd write instructions,
and so a successor attendant would come on and read these instruc-
tions and pass them on, that way. So there was need for the ability
to comprehend, and the ability to read and write. So this Eskimo
brought back a copy of this little comprehensive paragraph that he
was supposed to analyze and tell what it meant. I handed this to
Mrs. Tommie. Now, Mrs. Tommie is supposed to be one of the more
intelligent Seminole secretaries. And she studied that for five
minutes. And she handed it back, and she said, "Don't ask me, I
don't even know what it means." And this is what we found out
from all of the tests that were given to kids. Is that, if there's
an instruction that's written, they don't understand the meaning
of words--they can't interpolate. Nor can they deal in abstracts.






Full Text

PAGE 1

INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: INTERVIEWER: Eugene Barrett John Mahon DATE: September 1971 DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION

PAGE 2

SUMMARY Eugene Barrett, BIA superintendent at Hollywood, 1967-1971, discusses: tribal economics and income, Seminole politics and leadership, family structure, discipline and delinquency, education, and the BIA. Much of the interview deals with Seminole income and their achievement of solvency and profit. Barrett tells how he guided ~hem in the leasing of their vt_<'l i"GL land for cattle and~ armer. As a corollary he considers their attitude toward wealth. Another major portion of the interview is comprised of Barrett's experiences with the tribal leadership and his assess ment of it. In some detail he mentions the "takeover policy" when Indians sought top positions in all BIA departments. Throughout his discussions he uses particular cases and persons. Mr. Barrett considers education and deems illiteracy and lack of reading comprehension to be the root of many Seminole prob lems. Family structure with respect to discipline and delinquency is also included.

PAGE 3

INDEX Barrett, Eugene (BIA Superintendent 1967-71, Hollywood) opinion of Seminole culture, 38-39 B.I.A., 2, 9-10, 32-36 economics and income (tribal), 1, 4, 6-9, 26-32 education illiteracy among Seminoles, 10 reading comprehension, 13-14, 39 Seminole failure in public schools, 11-13, 15 family structure (discipline, delinquency), 15-17, 21-22 Jumper, Bettie Mae, 2, 18, 22, 30, 34 language (spoken; sign), 36-37 Monsteoca, Fred, 34 NYC (National Youth Corps Association), 23-24 Osceola, Bill, 1-2, 5 Osceola, Billy, 1-2, 5 Osceola, Joe Dan, 2, 22 politics and leadership, 1-6, 22-25 Scafti thesis, 20-22 Selective Service registration, 17-19 Smith, Fred, 23, 24 Tiger, Buffalo, 35 Tiger, Howard, 1-2, 7, 9 Tonnnie, Howard, 22-23, 25, 34 wealth (Seminole attitude toward), 28-30

PAGE 4

M: Could you tell us something further on the problems the Seminoles had? I mean, they sent you down here as a trouble-shooter, and specifically, what was wrong? Do you remember? Any details you could supply from memory? B: Well, as I recall, the basic difference was political. Political with an economic overture, if you please. M: Yes. B: The Seminole people were, and still are, great people to have faith in and trust their leadership. If you recall, they didn't change leadership. The same two or three fellows were elected to office year after year. M: You're talking about Bill Osceola and Billy? B: Right. M: And Howard Tiger? B: Howard just happened to have this fatal accident, or he would still probably be involved in the political arena. M: I knew Howard. Of course, I've met Bill and Billy, but I knew Howard. B: The superintendent, one of my predecessors, was recommending to them that they increase the tribal indebtedness an additional one-plus millions of dollars, to start various enterprises, develop the reservation on their own, and increase the number of people involved in the cattle industry. This had reached a point where the approvals for the loan had been made. But it was also election time. M: The loan was from the U.S. government, I suppose. B: Right. M: The Interior Department? B: FHA or SBA, one of these loaning agencies. The opposition to this loan were younger people who were fearful of increasing the tribal indebtedness, and the campaign became very bitter.

PAGE 5

2 M: This was in '57? B: '67. M: '67. Of course. That's what you said. B: The staff, or some of the staff members, sided in with the new deal, so to speak. They were the new upstarts, the young blood. The superintendent favored the incumbents in office. And they actively got to campaigning for their various political parties. Which is contrary to the policy of the Bureau, to interfere in tribal politics in any way. After the election, the old-timers, Bill and Billy, lost their positions, and Bettie Mae Jumper and Joe Dan Osceola were elected into their respective offices. This bitterness still carried over; there were charges and counter charges against the various employees and against the tribal peo ple. This was the situation that I inherited. I didn't think it was so bad, but it flared up a time or two, when one of the young Seminoles attacked one of the employees there in the office. M: Physically attacked? B: Oh, yes. M: What was the provocation? Just political? B: No, I think it was probably partially personal, and it also could have been a carry-over from the political feeling. This was the man that is in the job that Billy Cypress has now. M: Steve Feraca? B: I don't know whether you knew Steve Feraca. M: Well, I know the name. He was the one that was attacked? B: Yes. And he had his arm broken. M: I didn't know that. B: When a person gets into this position with a client, then his effectiveness is gone. And so, I asked the office to move him. M: It was hinted to me one time that what happened to Howard Tiger

PAGE 6

was more than accident. Do you, you think that's ? B: I don't know, but such a thought is hard to accept. M: That's all it was, just ? B: I think there are some people that feel this. Maybe -let's call it wishful thinking. If someone asked me to sum up the Seminole people, I would say that they're gentle. They are slow to anger. They are a very obstinate, stubborn people; I think they'd move out of their way to evade trouble. I don't think that they ever ever move into trouble. Say, like an Irishman will do. And, so, I don't think they're particularly vindictive. 3 M: Well, you know, that was just hinted to me, and I just indicate, I suppose, some attitude towards the bitterness that did exist. B: That could've been. M: In other tribes that you've had to do with, were women involved in the tribal government and management as with the Seminoles? B: Oh yes, to a great extent. M: It's not uncollllllon at all? .. B: No. In fact, when I went to work with the Blackfeet, it was pretty much male-dominated. From my first experience, I'll say it was male-dominated, but one of the big influences in the true Indian picture in the state of Montana at that time -and incidentally, still is -was Dolly Acres, who was an Indian. She was probably a self-appointed leader of all the Indian tribes of Montana, and I think holds a fairly responsible posi tion there. When I moved to the Sioux country, the men were in the forefront -they made the speeches -they were the peacocks. But I early found out that the power behind the throe was the women. The women told the men what to do and say. The men would oftentimes get stumped in a discussion, and invariably they'd turn around to their wives and ask their advice. M: Is it not true among the Navajo that the women own the blocks? B: This is what I understand. They say it is a matriarchal society.

PAGE 7

M: And was that true with any of these other tribes? B: Not to the same extent as with the Navajo. M: Was their control economic? B: No. Not always. M: And it's not true of the Seminoles, is it? B: No. No. M: Do Seminole women, to your knowledge, own some of the common herd? 4 B: No, I don't think so. The bull herds and experimental herds are tribally owned. M: These are owned in the names of the men. B: No, women can own livestock. M: But you don't know that they do. B: Oh, I know that some of them do. M: Some of them do. B: Yes, because there was a policy at one time, that if you (again it might have been an unwritten policy) wanted a home, of if you wanted to borrow money from the tribe to build a home, you had to have some type of security. And the security was the cattle herd that the individuals owned. So consequently, a lot of people went into the cattle business, so that they could get a house. If you're familiar with the reservation, you'll notice they had a group of CBS (concrete bloc~) houses, maybe eight or ten houses at Big Cypress, Brighton, and even in Holly wood. Those were underwritten, more or less, by the privately owned cattle herds. M: Yes. B: You might talk to Mrs Clark sometime about that.

PAGE 8

M: Who is Mrs. Clark? B: She's the credit officer. M: Oh. Is she still active there? B: Yes. M: The leadership that you're describing was wasn't it? I guess Bill Osceola is older Billy, one of them. 5 mostly pretty young, than he looks, or B: Surprisingly, neither of them is as old as I thought they were. M: Well, my question to you is this: ship was entrusted to young people Indians are always said to have so explanation in this? How did it happen that leader like that? The elders of much weight. What is your B: This is the type of question that generally bugs me. Because my answer is the basis of my analysis. M: Well, of course, that is what's valuable here. B: I have a feeling that with the is the word "upsurgence"? M: That's a good word. Upsurgence. B: Of nationalism by the blacks and the reds that it hit these young Indian people, and they felt that they had to take an active part in their own society, in order to get any place. That the establishment, which was represented by the young people, the Billy Osceolas, were not doing enough for the tribe. And that to be heard, the young people had to assume a leader ship role, and the way they did it here is through elections. M: What about the older ones? Why not the Frank Shores, the Josie Billies, and all these, why aren't th~y at the helm? In Indian history, you get the impression that the counsel of the old men is very significant. B: I have had this experience. But I think that these young fellows probably influenced the old-timers, to the extent that they did

PAGE 9

6 not actively participate or campaign against them. They just took it for granted. They just stepped back, and let the young people win. And they won decisively. This is the interesting thing. Now, it could've been that maybe the word filtered down, to people that were for the establishment, that there was some thing more for the tribe to get -more development, higher eco nomic standard -if they had a change in leadership. And so maybe they went along with it passively. One of the biggest things that I've noticed (one of my analyses of the Seminoles) is that passive resistance is their forte. They won't actively resist, but they'll passively resist. They just do nothing. M: Well, reverting back to that issue of the matter of extending their loan, in the early days, did they extend it or didn't they? B: No. M: They did not. B: No, Joe Dan [Osceola] and Bettie Mae Jumper campaigned against it, and innnediately after the election the council rejected the idea. This was all done prior to my coming. One of the things that the commissioner had talked to me about was the generation of some income for the Seminole people. Now, I'm going to quote figures, and these are just by memory, so they won't be accurate, but they're M: Useful B: Relatively. The total operating costs of the Seminole governing body about the time I got here was approximately sixty thousand dollars. They needed this kind of money to operate their govern ment. M: For a year? B: Yeah, that's for their council expenses and for official travel. M: That isn't much, under present conditions. B: Their total income about this time, that could be used for carry ing out council business was between forty and fifty thousand

PAGE 10

dollars. So each year they were going into debt. One of the early things that I noted when I came down was that they had ten enterprises that they were operating. I could list them if necessary, but you recall them. They were grocery stores, the textile factory out in Brighton 7 M: No, I don't know, and I would be interested in it, if you would list them. B: The woodworking factory at Big Cypress, the arts and crafts M: Yes, that one I'm familiar with. B: And the village. M: Yes. B: Now, they maybe work together -the village and the arts and crafts -but they also had the muck pit where Mr. Tiger had his accident. M: What was that for? Fertilizer? B: Well, that was just M: organic material to be sold? B: Organic material to be sold. M: I see. B: They had the campground area, and their livestock enterprises. There are two or three of those. That's one for each reservation, Big Cypress and Brighton. They all used and involved money, and never once in the history of these enterprises did they make a nickel. They went in the red every year. So I pointed out to the new leaders that this is not the way to stay in business. I said if a business has had a reasonable chance of proving itself, and it doesn't improve itself, you eliminate it. You close it down and try something else. Well this, this was hard for the Seminole people to swallow. And I can see that, because money doesn't have the same value to them that it does to us. M: No, it's a different concept, I think.

PAGE 11

8 B: So they protested this. But finally Joe Dan, the president of the board, which, incidentally, handles the tribal enterprises M: Yes. B: kind of saw the light, and he started closing down these various and sundry enterprises. Then this is where the agita tion against the superintendent started to grow. But we did close down all of the enterprises with the exception of the cattle industry which so many people were involved in. It's still losing money, but not to a great extent; and the arts and crafts and village. Because I felt that there are certain things that you have to keep open, even if they're costly to your organization, because they serve other purposes besides monetary gain. In other words, it might be social aid, it might be a refuge for indigents--! can go into this later on. This village and this arts and crafts deal out there has be come a social refuge to the Seminole people. M: Yes, I get your point. It's something for them to do. B: They can put them to work. Somebody destitute, they put them to work over there; even though it does lose money, they put them to work and pay them a little money. M: Yes. B: So, they closed down the enterprises, and their problem was what to do to make some money. Since I am a natural resource oriented person, I felt the only resource that the tribe owned that had immediate value was their land. This land had been lying idle for years and years, and to me this is a waste. So, we just pulled the sprags out of the personnel wheel and said go out and find some lessees for this land. M: Did they find some? B: Oh, yes. In fact, as part of the national policy, they had a staff searching for business opportunites, in the Washington office. They had them stationed throughout the country, and one of our people here got a lead from Washington. This was the man that ultimately leased two hundred plus acres of the Hollywood reservation, and pays an annual rent. Now, to me, this is phenomenal. He pays an annual rent to the tribe, of a thousand

PAGE 12

9 dollars an acre. M: And how many acres have you rented? B: Roughly speaking, two hundred at Hollywood Reservation. M: Wow. How long is his lease? B: Fifty-five years. M: Well, in other words, they've about quadrupled the income they used to have. You said they used to take in forty or fifty thousand dollars a year. B: Now, the last full year that I was down here, their income was somewhere like four hundred thousand dollars. Which is quite a change, to me. So I feel that my tenure was very successful, as far as the Seminole economics is concerned. M: Well, many years ago, Goggin, an anthropologist, and I went up and testified for them before the Indian Claims Commission in that endless litigation. That was when Howard Tiger was presi dent. We came down here and we were fair-haired boys, because, of course, we testified for them. They took us all around, and I went out and watched that tomato operation they had going out there. Are you familiar with that? B: Yes. M: They had leased that to some outfit. When did that sort of thing get started? B: Well, that was started, I imagine, ten years earlier. M: Well, candor's worth a good deal in these things. I mean, un candid history is not worth a hoot. Somebody has to tell it like it is, as the modern saying goes. Go ahead. You had an experience, if you're willin' to relate it. B: Well, it's out of context now. M: That doesn't matter. This is no continuous narrative. B: You know the Bureau of Indian Affairs is kind of all-inclusive

PAGE 13

in disciplines. We have an education department; we have a social department, or welfare, whatever you want to call it; a roads department; .. and the whole bit. We have a feeling that education is the key to the development of people. So we were conscious of the fact that the Seminoles, as a group 10 of people, were probably as highly illiterate as any group of people in the United States. Their educational history is very poor. I'm not trying to go into the background of why. I don!t understand why. A people who have had contact with European cultures as long as the Seminoles have, yet have re sisted the formality of education of any kind as long as they have. I can't understand it. Unless you tie it in with their obstinacy and their stubbornness. They were so-called conquered, after a very stubborn resistance, and they finally said, well, we're licked. But we're not gonna give in. And we're still stubborn. But the leadership of the tribe reflects this educa tional level in a sense. Bill and Billy Osceola, one of them was illiterate and the other was semi-illitereate. One of them probably read at about the second or third grade level, was able to write his own name. The other could not read or write a thing. M: I didn't realize that. B: Most of their contact with outside society was through their secretary. They were wise enough to pick up a secretary that could communicate. And it actually in a sense turned out that this lady was the Seminole leader. Because she would tell them what she read, and she would slant it or interpret it her own way. And so, consequently, she was making the decisions for the tribe. The'd go along. They were the mouthpieces. The Seminole, particularly Seminole men, are interested in athletics. And the year after I got here, I heard that we had three high school grad uates who had received football scholarships over at Tampa. I thought this was fine. We had three nice-looking young fellows from the Seminoles, over there. And if they ever finished, they would be the natural leaders of this tribe, to come back and take over the leadership of the tribes. One of them was Bettie Mae Jumper's son, another one was Howard Tiger's son, and another one was Bill Osceola's nephew. Now, they had all come from fami lies who had, at one time or another, assumed a leadership role in the tribe. So it was natural to think that these kids would ultimately become the tribal leaders. One day we received word from the university that they were placing these three boys on

PAGE 14

11 scholastic probation. It was about time to start the baseball season. I figured it was about time that we went over and tried to delve into this, why are these kids on scholastic probation. So I took Mr. and Mrs. Jumper, Bettie Mae and her husband, I took Mrs. Tiger M: Howard was gone by this time? B: Oh, Howard was dead, yes. The other one, Moses Osceola, his parents were both busy. Mrs. Law, our education specialist, also went over. And we had a conference with advisers, one of the administrators of the school, and tried to get all three of the boys in there, to have a heart-to-heart discussion of this whole matter. Of course, one of the boys couldn't miss baseball practice. It was more important to play baseball than it was to find out about his future. So he didn't show up. The other two boys did. Two of the three. Being polite, the school people were ill at ease in a situation like this. They were beating around the bush. They weren'.t coming right out and laying it on the table. So I interceded in the discussion, and I said, if we don't tell the truth, and lay it out here in the open, we're not going to accomplish anything. And I said, are you trying to tell us that the three fellows we're talking about are not college material? They said yes, that's what I think I'm trying to say. And he took each person separately, and said, this person, definitely is not. This person, could make it, with maximum effort. He would probably never be better than a low C student, but he could make it. The third one, he could if he'd apply himself. He was probably a little brighter, I'm not sure which. Nevertheless, of the three, there was one of them that possibly could, another one that barely co4ld, and the third one, no chance. So I tried to find out if they had analyzed the situation, if they could give me a reason why these studentsand one of the things that I decry are--what do they call them, social promotions in school, where you don't do the work, but you're old enough, and you ought to •.. what do they call that? M: I don't know. But I know what you mean. They either fail you and kick you out, or else they advance you. B: Well, I think that some of these kids were advanced by this means. Until they finally got a ... but they all played football. They were marvelous football players, they had good physique, they were nice-looking boys, they were about six feet tall, weighed

PAGE 15

12 175, 180 pounds, you know, great big, good-looking kids. They were not off-beat. They had their hair long, but it was clubbed nicely, it was cut off to where it was neat. One of the school people said the best thing that could happen to these fellows would be to take them out of school and make them go to work away from their environment. Away from the reservation. He says, send them down here to the waterfront and get them jobs as long shoremen; where they had to rely on their own abilities. And if something went wrong, that they didn't have any place to turn. Because, he says, these fellows have had such a protected life that they do not have to assume any responsibilities. They know that the government is going to take care of them. Or if the government doesn't take care of them, the tribe will take care of them. And he says, this has ruined, in a sense, these three boys. And he says, the best thing that could happen to these fellows is to stick them off by themselves. He also mentioned another interesting thing. He said that in a course of testing through their freshman year, there were certain questions that, when they were pulled out of the test and analyzed by themselves, showed a peculiar situation. And this was the degree of let's call it aggressiveness or, he said, masculinity, in the sensenot sex-wise, but to differnentiate between a retiring, effeminate type of person and a masculine person. Assuming that the bully, the guy that makes all the decisions, would be a hundred and the very effeminate type of person there at the bottom would be zero, then aver~ge would be somewhere along in the forty to sixty brack et. Well, he went further to explain that a woman who was a young, early widow, that had to rear a family and buy the automobile, buy the home, make the decisions, might respond in the masculine way, because she was the decision-maker in the family. And you might have also a milk-toast type of man who would be very effemi nate. But he said when they tested the Seminole kids, do you know where they were? M: Way low? B: Here, great big, burly fellows, in the around 20 to 28 bracket. Clear down in the effeminate side of the scale. To me, this was one of the most devastating situations to find. When it comes to education, here we had three fellows that were not going to make it, and we had the same situation that existed probably with all the Seminole kids in school today. And so, it's going to be a continuous thing.

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13 M: It's a cultural attribute, you suggested. They're gentle people, fundamentally. Not very aggressive. B: So, I came back here, and I was all wrought up. I tried to get even the school to start out with Head Start, in kindergarten, to get some aggressiveness, independence injected into these kids, rather than this protective shield they have over them. I don't think it got very far. Because there's a sad thing that exists in southern Florida, or in all of Florida, about the Seminole Indians. And that is that the public has put the Seminole Indian on a pedestal, that they can do no wrong, they're the glamorous, glorious Indians. And this has done the Seminoles more harm, I think, in their own life, than could happen to them. M: With regard to that what happened to these kids? Did they get thrown out of the university? B: One of them, yes. M: They didn't stay. B: No. One of them came down here, and he might be going this year to Broward Junior College. There's a possibility of this. I think Mike Tiger went to work. Because his mother is a very am bitious, very intelligent woman. M: She's a Cherokee, I believe. B: Yes, she's a Cherokee, and they will work. So Mike is a worker. The other one, Big.Shot, or Moses Jumper Junior -I know this, he has transferred, I think, to five different schools in the two years. And I don't think he's completed his freshman work yet. M: Well, one problem in that, I'd like to ask you about -how did these kids test out in reading? Could they read? They probably read at a very primitive level, didn't they? B: I'm glad you asked that. I'd forgotten it. It's one of the keys to this. M: I think it is. They can't read, probably. B: In the various tests that were given these kids, the Seminole

PAGE 17

14 students rated just as high, or above the norm, in analysis. Thinking. Where they fell down was in anything that necessi tated reading for understanding. They lacked the capacity to understand the English language. Whether it's spoken or writ ten or read. M: They never learned to read very well, probably. B: And the words have no meaning to them. M: Yes. Well, in other words, their problem, besides being cul tural, is the character of their earlier education, to some degree. B: Oh, definately. Definately. And this is where I decried this, what you call, social promotion. M: Yes. B: They didn't teach those kids to read. They shoved them on, and we find this is true in other societies. But, it's particularly damaging to the Seminole. M: Well, how did the parents of these kids react? They were sitting there when these statements were made by the officials, were they not? B: Well, we had two parents there, Mrs. Tiger and Mrs. Jumper. M: Right. B: And there was an interesting little sidelight here. Mrs. Jumper is Howard Tiger's sister. M: Sister. Yes. B: So, it was all a big family, in a sense. M: Except Osceola--well, nobody was representing him anyway. B: No. No. Mrs. Tiger realized that Mike was neglecting to study. Mrs. Jumper, who was a Tiger originally, was rationalizing for "Big Shot." Saying, well, I didn't want Big Shot to come to this school in the first place. He should have been going up

PAGE 18

to Gainesville to the agricultural school because he wants Fred Montsdeoca's job. He wants to work with cattle. Also that he was a good baseball player, and Howard was a good baseball player. M: I remember that. 15 B: And that he could probably make a good living playing baseball. On the other hand, her husband, who was with us, Moses Senior, told her that she was wrong. I was surprised that the Jumper family were divided in this. The father was critical of his son for not studying, and the mother rationalized. M: How much does the father of these families have to do with bringing up the children? Did you have a chance to observe that? It used to be that the father didn't have much connec tion with it, in the early tribal era. B: Well, the parents in the Seminoles have very little to do with the rearing of the children, in a sense. M: Who does rear them? B: The mother is probably the most influential, but the aunt and the grandmothers, in the old camp. The idea of a single unit, single family unit, is fairly new to the Seminole culture. You know this. M: Yes. B: Normally they lived in a camp; the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles and the whole clan, like, lived in the same complex of chickees. And much of the discipline -and their reasoning for it was kind of logical -was done by the uncles and aunts and the grandpeople. Because they felt that, if a parent punished the child, this would break down the relationship, the feelings between the parents and the child. And, so, it would be better for someone else to punish this child for a wrongdoing rather than a parent. Now this might work fine when you're in this conglomerate, expanded family type of thing. But when you pull the parents and their children out, by themselves, and the par ents have never disciplined their children, you have a chaotic situation. And this is exactly what happened.

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M: What's the ultimate upshot expressed in the society? linquent, or what? 16 of that? I mean, how does this get Are the kids being hopelessly deB: Absolutely. They defy their parents; they do pretty much what they please. But there are a few families down here that are just the opposite. In other words, they're rather strict and severe with their children. And I don't know whether they are criticized by the other people or not. I can't tell you that. But, in most instances, the delinquency among the younger children is very high. And, I could tell you stories that just would make you hair curl, about delinquency. M: Why don't you tell me one or two that are representative? I mean, this type of thing is crucial. Don't use names, just the kind of thing that happens. It's crucial to the culture, and if they don't resolve it, who knows what lies ahead for them? B: If you recall, I mentioned the campground they had right down here on Hollywood reservation. It had spots for about 100 campers. Now, it was an underdeveloped campground, it wasn't a highly deve~oped one. People did a lot of tent camping or sometimes it was an Apache type, a little trailer attachment type of thing. Oftentimes they'd be gone during the day, and the tents would be left unattended, and we'd have repeated com plaints about thievery. There was quite a rash of stealing occurred one time. One man lost, we'll say, a cooler with a case of beer and a couple of quarts of booze. Another one lost sleeping bags, another one lost all of his clothes, and another one lost a camera. The police got to it, and, by golly, the kids were playing house. Now, often times, this is something else, because the parents still pay too little attention to them. They don't have a curfew or deadline for the kids to come home, they come wandering in all the time. In this instance, some of the kids didn't come home at all. Some of the social workers, tribal social workers M: Herself an Indian -or himself? B: Yes, a woman. Thought that she might know where they were. We're talking about a group of kids from nine years old to twelve or thirteen. And they found them back in the deep woods -this was before it was cleared off-right near the

PAGE 20

17 campground. There was some real dense jungle-type. They had carved themselves some niches out in there, and they were all playing house. These young kids. Sleeping together, and carry ing on all the functions of man and wife, and they were caught in the act. Some of the older boys and the younger girls, you know. M: Had they stolen stuff? B: Oh, sure. They got it all back. I had to go over with the po licemen, they got them all in the tribal office over there, and all the gear that was there, and the kids tried to say it was somebody else. But they all had a hand in it. They got slapped on the wrist verbally by the police officer, and I think that's all that ever happened. M: Do you happen to know--I mean, in individual cases--was that succeeded by other delinquency? B: Well. M: Or did the kids straighten out? B: Oh, no. No. The point is that these same kids were probably in trouble most of the time. You know, from our social standard, they were anti-social. They didn't do anything to conform to normal ways. M: Are any of them serving prison terms? Or do they get that far? Are there Seminoles in the local or federal prisons? That is, for extended terms; or do you know? B: Oh, yes. There are some. M: There are? B: I know that while I was down there we had to authorize the parole for one of the fellows from Big Cypress. So, I would judge that there is probably a representative percentage of Seminoles in jail. Again, there's something real funny about Seminole attitudes. Now, it may be parental. But, do you know that tribal leaders were advising their sons not to register? M: For the draft?

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18 B: For the draft. Did you know this? M: No, I knew that in the beginning, nobody turned up for the draft. Somebody told me that. I think Mrs. Fulton did, or somebody. B: Well, let's say the young, 24 or 25 year olds, don't even know probably what it was. And I know that since my tenure herenow the draft's been on for a long time--I know that I've brought this question up to Betty Mae. I said, Betty Mae, when is your son going to serve his hitch in the military? And she said, oh, the Seminoles don't have to. The Seminoles don't have to go to the Army. M: Is that legally true? B: No. And I said, Betty, this can't be true. I said, this is a federal law and there were no exceptions. No exemptions from it. Except it's up to the respective draft board. As far as registering for the draft, every Seminole boy, every male over 18 has to register for the draft. But, one of the young cattle men out at Brighton had a younger brother who lived here in Hollywood, and someone had told him that he had to register for the draft. And this fellow says, oh, Betty Mae came right out and publicly announced that Seminoles didn't have to. Now I understand that--again, this is just gossip, but it may have a bearing--that the Miccosukees resisted education because they figure that if you're an illiterate, you wouldn't have to serve in the draft. M: Flashing back to something you said earlier--you were out there with the Blackfeet, or somebody, in '41, when the war began. tvhat was their war service record? B: Oh, excellent. M: Some of them went off and served? B: Oh, yes. And when we were at Rosebud it was really sad and rather pathetic, because .•. Carmen [Mrs. Barrett], do you remember the Indian flute? C: Oh, yes. B: They would pick up these Sioux kids by the bus loads, because

PAGE 22

this was in an isolated area, and when this bus would come to the agency to pick up the load of recruits, there was an old, old Indian that would sit on the hill and play a flute. It was rather sad, because he knew these kids were going away to war, and that some of them wouldn't return. M: Some traditional B: It was part of some traditional thing. M: Tune, I suppose. B: But, I remember that this fellow's name was Old Iron Shell. 19 M: Well, do you have the impression that the Seminoles were aganst involvement in the war? B: Definitely. Except as individuals, now. Somebody like Bill Cypress, he enlisted. M: I know. B: And quite a few of them enlist. But there are still a lot of them that have nothing to do with it. And I think if you would run the gammut of all the young fellows from the ages of 18 to 30, that you would find that the majority of them were not re gistered. M: Among the older ones, are there some veterans of World War II? Or do you know? B: Oh, Moses Jumper is an ex M: Are there quite a few, or was it limited? B:• Oh, I think it was limited. I don't know. M: Did they volunteer? The few that are? B: I think so. I've never delved into it, but this was a shock to me when I found out that one of the leaders was advising against registering. M: I don~t suppose anybody has. In the connection you were talking

PAGE 23

20 about,. anthropology had a graduate student down here on summer. He was a Danish boy named Scafti. You may have stumbled up against him B: Yes, I remember him. I remember him well. C: Was that the one that we had to dinner? B: Up to the house. Yes. M: He wrote a moaster's thesis that was really sort of what you're saying, about the complete lack of discipline among them. And he cited instances of just malicious vandalism, in which B: Of course. He was subject to some of it. M: Stuff in the playground was just chopped down for no reason. B: Sure. Right. M: If I remember right, he contended that the young people were very cruel to animals. B: They're cruel M: in general? B: Yes. I don't know about particular instances, but when there are pets out on the reservation, they're not friendly. M: I thought that thesis of his ought to have been published, but I couldn't find any place to publish it. It would've been highly controversial. And, of course, the Seminoles would have hated it. B: Well, the trouble is that C: Is there anywhere a person could get to read that? M: Oh, yes. The library has it. It's on file, the library at the university. You could borrow it through a local library, though. Inter-library loan. C: Oh, I wouldn't go through that.

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M: Well, I think it would be a good idea. They will send it, inter-library loan, to a library, you know. C: Now, what's the title? Do you know? M: Well, I'll send you the title. I can't remember. B: Well, send me the copy. 21 M: Well, I don't have it in my possession. The library has them, you know. B: But, he was supposed to send me one. M: Well, I could get that thing copied. send you one. I will send you one. weren't you? B: Right. On our dupe funds and You were superintendent, M: I'll send you a copy. It wouldn't cost B: And remember his wife? Was this real nice girl M: I never saw her. B: Very nice looking girl. M: But Scafti came to talk to me a few times, and I read the thesis. B: He was an unusual fellow. M: I'll send you a copy of it. I'll get it xeroxed and send you a copy. We can pay the cost of getting it reproduced. That's fair enough. B: But wasn't he a herpetologist, or something? M: No, he's an anthropologist. He completed that master's degree with us, and then he went on to Colorado or some place for a Ph.D., and I don't know what happened to him. But, his was a sort of a strong indictment of the culture, that they were hanging between cultures, you know.

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22 B: Oh, they gave him a bad time here. I remember we hired him for the summer program. M: And why did they? I mean was he disagreeable personally, or .•. B: No. No, in fact I wouldn't have taken the abuse as long as he did, in a sense. I said we hired him. He was not hired by us; I think he was hired by OEO. We could hire his wife, but he was an alien, and we couldn't hire him. M: His wife was employed, and then he kind of hung around, I gathered. B: There was a little grant of some kind that he used. M: I guess so. B: They had the best interest of the Seminole at heart, but the Seminole ... C: Because they were too honest people, you know. B: I have a feeling that this was right. M: That may be. Well, he wrote it up, so it's quite devastating. B: In fact, I wouldn't write it personally, but I'd like to study it a little bit and maybe lift a phrase or two out of it, to see if it compares with some of my thoughts on this. M: I have a notion it does. Some of the things you've described to me, here, sort of what Scafti included in his observations. This is brief, it's maybe a hundred pages or somethin'. B: Yes. Well, it's real strange about these people. Getting back to the modern political situation, within this past year, there's been a change of officers. M: Yes. B: And Joe Dan and Betty Mae were out. M: Yes, I've met the present leadership. Howard Tommie. B: Yes.

PAGE 26

M: And Fred Smith. What does this represent, politically? B: Well, you want my honest and candid opinion? M: Yes. Of course. B: Howard Tommie is maybe a nice fellow. M: He's articulate. He talks to you very well. I chatted with him. B: He talks to you very well, but did you ever analyze what he said? M: No, you know, I just visited with him. 23 B: He is a little bit thick from here up. And I think he got into office on the popularity of his father. Now, his father was a very kind man and a popular Indian minister. M: Of course. B: A minister type. Probably a lay preacher. Everybody had a kind word for him; they called him old man Tommie. Now, Howard -M: His sister is secretary-treasurer too, I think. Or some rela tive is, Dorothy Tommie. B: That's his wife and she's secretary to Mike Jamer, the social worker. M: I see. B: And his sister works in the bookkeeping. I think she is head Seminole bookkeeper, or something like that. Now, I'm going to say something. Ultimately use it for getting an impression, but don't leave it in print, [mumbling] at this point. You know that we have an NYC program down here. M: What's that? National youths? B: Yes. That's National Youths [Corps] Association. And it's handled by the Department of Labor.

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24 M: I see. B: When I first came here, we had Jimmy Osceola, one of the re latives of the leaders, in the job as director. These jobs pay eight to ten thousand dollars a year, a good job. But here we had a Seminole that was semi-literate as NYC director, doing a very poor job. And the administrators of the program said he had to go. So they let him go. Now, the NYC regula tions say that to fit into certain categories, you must have certain qualifications. So, basically, I suppose, one of them said that they read and write, see. And there were no Seminoles qualified for this job. None at all. But a young Marine came back, and was doing, I thought, a pretty good job around M: A Seminole? B: Yes. A Seminole catch-colt. One of these that wasn't reared on the reservation, but just on the fringes of it, by whites mostly. M: But was his parentage all Seminole, or was he half-white, or what? B: Half-white. The name was James Billie. And, well, he's kind of a talented kid, so I interceded for him with the NYC people and got him the job. And he started out like a house afire. You know, he was right down at their level. By God, he got down too close to their level. He started breeding all the seventeen year old girls and getting drunk with the NYC boys, and, you know, they were ages, let's say, fourteen on up. And actually, I had him in the office once about his getting a girl from the Trail pregnant. And, I didn't know at the time, but he had two of them pregnant at the same time. And I figured he ought to marry this girl or do something about it. He told me, look, he says, most of the time people won't even admit that they have caused this damage. He says, I'll admit it, I'll claim the baby, but I'm not gonna marry her. Well, anyway, he lost out of the NYC job. And the administrator came down from Jacksonville or somewhere and came over, and he wanted to know what I would suggest. I said, well, I think that you'd be wise if you would get a qualified non-Seminole person to head the program up. But make a second position, or establish

PAGE 28

a second position, as a training position, under him, so that you can train a Seminole to be a future director of this NYC program. I said, this is my idea of the way it should go. 25 He thought this would be a good deal, and he approached the leaders, the tribal leaders, but they wouldn't buy it. There had to be a Seminole in the top position. And so who should apply for that job, but Howard Tommie -the present chairman. M: Yes. B: And this man came over and asked me about Howard Tommie. My words about Howard Tommie were just about like this: Howard Tommie is a nice guy. He likes kids. He's an ex-athlete. And he likes to get out and play games with them. But, I said, as far as administering the program or planning a program, I said you won't be a bit further ahead with Howard Tommie than you were with James Billie, or the fellow that was before him, Jimmy Osceola. A little later he said, I want to show you some thing. He took out of his briefcase a slip of paper. He had asked Howard Tommie to express himself iri writing about a certain question. Just like he'd ask me a question, ask me for my answer. I didn't read it, but he said, look, I've got a .. sixth grade kid that can do a better job answering that question than he did. So he went back, and he told them that, he told the tribal leaders that he wasn't going to hire Howard Tommie. Well they raised so much hell about Howard Tommie that he backed down and ultimately hired him. They were looking, probably, for reasons to pick on me, but they accused me of trying to undermine Howard Tommie. And this was the furthest from my thoughts. I was trying to be objective and honest with this man, and I told him that I didn't think he would be any further ahead, but I didn't recommend either he hire or fire him. Ex cept originally I told him I thought the best way the program could be handled would be to hire a non-Indian and then set up or establish that position. But Howard Tommie got the job. He wasn't in the job a month before the handwriting was very evident. He wasn't as good as the other fellow. In~fact, he was, in many instances, poorer. But, this is the way it goes. The Seminoles will fight for each other, and they don't think you have to be qualified for anything as long as the govern ment puts up the money, you can put a body in this position. And somebody else should do the work. This is their feeling. M: Which is unfortunate.

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B: It's too bad. All right, now you ask me some specific ques tions. I've been rambling on. M: Which is the way it's best. B: Well. 26 M: One thing I wanted to go back to -remembering, well, before we got on the social side, which has been fascinating -was the finance situation. And I take it you said that they over came their annual deficit, I guess, while you were superin tendent. Did they? B: Oh, yes. M: So they were getting in as much money as they spent? B: Oh, yes. Yes. Now, there's an interesting sidelight to that. I mentioned that when I first came here, their budget was about sixty thousand dollars. M: Yes. B: Do you know what their budget was last year? M: No, I do not. B: Two hundred and seventeen thous~nd dollars. M: And can they cover it? B: Oh, yes. M: Well, they get something like two hundred thousand dollars from that one lease? B: Yes. M: And where's the rest of their income come from? B: Well, they get a little bit from their agriculture leases. Then they also have a drive-in theatre, and another mobile home court. M: That is on their property? I

PAGE 30

B: Yes, down here. They have leases that bring in remember I was telling you about the one for fifty-thousand dollars. M: Yes. In other words, their money mostly comes from the leasing of the land. Is that right? B: Yes. M: Does the tribe get anything out of the cattle herd? B: No. In fact, the tribe subsidizes the cattle business. M: It does? B: In other words, the tribe charges the cattlemen nothing for the use of the tribal land. M: I see. B: So this is a subsidy. M: They run it as a connnunal herd, though. B: No. M: They herd together, don't they? B: No. M: They run their own? 27 B: They're individual ownership, but they're grouped together in small groups, to be able to stock and manage the pastures prop erly. M: Oh, yes. B: Because these are developed pastures. Now, we were starting to talk a little bit about the vegetable growing and about how it started out there. The tomato, I don't know how long it's been going on, but I would judge about fifteen years now. M: Must have been -when Goggin and I testified ten or so years

PAGE 31

ago, it was running then, I watched it. B: Yes. It's been about fifteen years. And this was a program that was initiated, or at least abetted, by the need for more pastures to be developed. M: I remember about that. 28 B: So, they would grant a development lease to these vegetable growers. Sand M farms. And the Sand M farms would clear the land, level it, border it, put in the necessary wells or pumps, and use the land for two or three years. They would then seed it or sprig it and turn it back to the tribe. They paid a mini mal rent for it. But the aggregate rent -that's the value of their improvement -I judge it was worth a hundred and fifty, two hundred dollars an acre. Because it would cost that much to clear, level, and do everything else necessary. M: So do individual Seminoles make a pretty good income out of cattle? B: Some of them. Some of them make twelve, fourteen, fifteen thousand dollars. Frank Shore, you know Frank Shore? M: I know who he is. I have met him. B: He's one of the M: Successful ones? B: Yes. Frank's an old-timer, and he's a very fine, quiet man. Also, a medicine man. And I think he is probably as honorable and honest a man as you can find. Bill Osceola has done very well in the cattle business. He's a very ambitious man and he wants to do other things, he likes heavy equipment. He's al ways getting involved in some sketchy business deal, off to the side, that involves heavy equipment. And he generally always loses money. But, this is his love, see. M: Well, if a Seminole makes twelve or fourteen thousand dollars a year, what does he do with it? Do you know? I mean, do they build an estate with it? B: No. No, it's just generally dissipated.

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29 M: You don't have what you'd call a wealthy Seminole that you know of? B: No, except in material goods, they might be. Now, I don't know what your level of wealth might be, but if he has a cattle herd that's worth sixty or seventy thousand dollars, why, in fact, he's a wealthy Seminole. M: That would be pretty wealthy, wouldn't it? B: Yes. M: Particularly if they don't think in terms of capital, especial ly, and here's capital from which we'll earn. B : But they have •.. M: I've always had the impression that the Seminoles, as a tribe or group, had some capital someplace. Is that wrong? B: That's wrong. M: They don't have some •.. B : Money. They M: They have their land. B: They did have a small sum of money in the treasury, but this amounted to just a pittance, in a sense, and I don't think that they have any in the treasury right now. They've taken it, pulled it all out and deposited it locally. Now, the Seminoles, in a sense, are not using their money unwisely at this time. But I think they are doing it because of the pres sure of the bureaucrats trying to get them to do certain things. To give you an example of this, I felt that the group here in Hollywood got the cream of everything. The outlying reserva tion didn't benefit by all the things that the local people did. In other words, local people got the jobs, if there were any. If they were living here. They got to meet the people, were closer to the centers of culture, so these other people were disadvantaged. Opportunities for work here were much greater than there were in other places. Because you had to come in from Big Cypress or Brighton to do this. So I

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30 felt that when we reached a point of getting sufficient income, that this income should be earmarked for distribution in acer tain manner. And, in a nutshell, I felt it should be this way: that there should be enough money taken off the top to pay the expenses of the tribal operation. Number two: that the rest of it should be divided up into four segments. One of them would be earmarked, or deposited, for the Hollywood tribe. And a fourth of it deposited for each of the other. M: Including the Trail? B: No. They had nothing to do with it. Then a fourth of it put in this pure savings. M: Oh, I see. That's the other quarter. B: In other words, I would skim off the top for tribal expenses and then divide the other piece up into four quarters, one to each reservation, and then twenty-five per cent for savings. And this would be pure savings. I told them where I had thought that if they would do this, in five or six years time, they could be classed as millionaires. Well, they fought this idea at first and didn't put any money up, but ultimately they did. They put, I think, twenty-five thousand dollars from the first big check they got. They took twenty-five thousand dollars and deposited it for Big Cypress Brighton Hollywood. Twentyfive thousand dollars for savings. And then they did something that I thought was fabulous -they set up a scholarship fund. Now, they started out, I think, with only two thousand dollars. And then it became a big joke. Because the two thousand dollars became Betty Mae Jumper's personal bank account for her own kids. You know. Which she needed, but that was the thing about it. But, this is what I wanted them to do, to set up a program of what to do with money. Because, in general, the Seminoles evaluate money differently than we do. Money is something to use, to spend. Any way they can get it, they will get it, they have no qualms about paying it back. They don't bother to pay it back, if they can get away with it. In other words, there are a lot of the Seminoles that are deadbeats of the first water. Betty Mae Jumper is one of them; she's one of the worst. I could go into that in detail, to prove my point, but we've had them thoroughly investigated for credit purposes, and she has probably the poorest credit of any body.

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M: Well, the superintendent can't dictate to them what they'll finally do with their tribal money, can he? I mean, you can only recommend. B: And advise. 31 M: But does the superintendent have the right to know what they're doing with it? I mean, is it easy for him to find out? B: Yes. It is, because the point is that they do not have the capacity to, let's say, manage their own affairs. M: Yes. B: And, so they have to rely on the bureaucrats to do this. Now, for years we've had a man down there that everytime they got stuck in their bookeeping system -he was an employee -they would come over and say, well, can Golden come over and work with us and help us out. So we would have a man in there right in the midst of the bookkeeping. So we knew what was go ing on all the time. I don't know whether there are any rules, regulations, that s~y that they have to permit the government to do this. But, I think that the government is in a position to tighten up certain rules and regulations so that it would be necessary for them to divulge information. Particularly if they are using money borrowed from the government. M: When they finally get some money from the United States, as they eventually will on their suit with the Indian claims commissionas you know, they rejected twelve and a half million on the grounds of insufficience-what will they do with it, in your judgement? How is it going to be handled. Will the Bureau put some limita tion on the degree to which they can B: No, the Bureau might not, but I think Congress will probably put the limitations on it, that would say that it cannot be paid out in per capita! This will probably be an act. M: Yes, a specific appropriation. They've done it in other Indian tribes, I guess. They never let them pay it all out, I hope. B: Right. But, one of the things that you have to bear in mind; I guess only twenty percent of the Seminoles will benefit from it.

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M: Why is that? B: The Florida Seminoles. Because the bulk of them are up there. M: You mean in Oklahoma? B: Oklahoma. 32 M: Yes. How about the Trail people? Do they cash in on that? Are they part of the suit? B: Reportedly. Reportedly. But, of course, the Trail people are still anti-anti. They're anti-everything. And they've withdrawn some of their support of the Seminoles, not wanting any part and parcel of this Seminole attempt to collect this money, M: Were they already a separate entity when you came in? B: Yes. M: Do they have a separate superintendent? B: Yes it's a separate agency. M: How did that happen? B Well, it's a long story. You've got time, I can tell you at least a little of it. M: Well, if you've got the strength -are you wearing out? B: No. M: There's a little more on this tape, and I'll put in another one. B: Do you remember, I mentioned the fact that this nationalism among Indians developed, I'd say, about the time that I came down here, a little bit before, about five or six years ago. As 'part of this ethnic uprising in this country, that is, the Negroes were doing it, and the Czechs were doing it. The former Secretary of the Interior had a feeling that the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be run by Indians. A program for Indians should be run by Indians. He had forgotten, I suspect, that all of the bureaucratic leaders in the bureau were Indian, at that time. Leonard Norwood was Indian. And so on, down the list.

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33 M: They don't sound like Indians. B: No, but they were all Indians. But, he wanted a change of lead ership. He named Mr. Louis Bruce, who is a real fine gentleman, but he was indoctrinated with the fact that Indians should domi nate the Bureau of Indian Affairs. So they eliminated all of the top leadership in the bureau. And he brought in the noisy protestors from the field, that is the urban agitators, and in stalled them in positions of authority and policy-making in the bureau. They were all young, and this was good. They were fel lows that had stepped into positions at, say, twenty-five thou sand dollar a year salaries, without any prior experience without any, let's say, basic training. One of them just finished high school. A fellow named Stevens. And they brought him in as the head of their social department. And these fellows would say, well, "You may know more about it than I do, but give me thirty days and I'll know all about this program." You know, get thirty days. And the members of the establishment -and I'm one of the members of the establishment -the old, tra ditional, bureaucratic, found ourselves out on a limb, anti-, against many of the policies that these young fellows were in jecting into this thing. Now, this filtered down to the reser vation. About that time, somebody on the Zuni reservation in New Mexico came up with what they called the Zuni plan. In it there was an ambitious program of development of the Zuni reser vation, using government money. It would entail the government appropriating about five times their normal budget, for a certain number of years, to develope the Zuni Reservation. But they were going to take over all of the functions of the government on the reservation. In other words, the superintendent was going to be replaced with the tribal leader. The heads of departments were going to be either replaced with Indians or would be work ing for the tribe. And Louis Bruce's group in Washington bought this program, lock, stock, and barrel. And then they sent it around to the other reservations as an example of what might be done, reconnnending that others go this direction. Well, this just opened Pandora's box for these Indian. tribes, because they could see all of the money that was appropriated coming through their hands, and they figured that they might be able to get their own fingers on a little bit. There are roughly eight hundred thousand dollars spent annually for the Seminoles. You know, that averages a little over eight hundred dollars apiece. That was for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This doesn't in clude the money from Public Health or other government agencies.

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34 M: You're talking about the Florida Seminoles? B: Yes, Florida Seminoles. Our program approximated eight hundred thousand dollars a year. As soon as this takeover--we call it the takeover policy--was introduced, iI!llllediately Fred Smith, the tribal secretary now, was not in an elected position, he was hired by Joe Dan. He got to thinking, by golly, we can get our hands on some of this eight hundred thousand dollars and we could put. Indians into all of these key positions, including himself. He wanted Fred Montsdeoca's job, see. Now, Fred Monts deoca has a master's degree in agriculture and forty years of experience. But here's a fellow that probably just finished high school. Oh, Fred Smith, I think he'd gone to junior col lege. But, he was gonna immediately step into this position, at Fred's salary. They were going to take over my position. I heard that Betty Mae Jumper, who is a semi-literate, came with in an inch of being my successor, getting the superintendency down here. And it would have been pitiful. Now, I have nothing personally against Betty, you know, she's a kind, nice person. But as far as capacity and capabilities are concerned, she has none. But that's the way it is. Now, I'm going to give you an example of how their thinking is. My proposal to counteract this takeover--I thought that I was being reasonable about it, and I still think it was a reasonable approach--was to train an Indian for every position that the Seminoles could aspire to take over, that they should be trained and qualified for the job. And to do this, the government should spend money enough to train the Seminoles for this particular discipline. Now, there are lots down there that could be handled by Seminoles. And the tribe thought this was a good idea, because up to this point they'd gotten nothing, and they thought this was as ideal situ ation, but Howard Tommie got up and argued against it. He said, what do you think we should do? And I said, well, you should have just the same as an apprentice program, and hire somebody at a reasonable living wage, for two or three years and con centrate on showing him the ropes. And he said, well, why don't you pay him as much as you do the top man? Now, this is his philosophy. You pay the guy that's training, just as much as the other guy. And I said, well, Howard, you're being unreasonable. You can't do that. This to me would be just as much of a waste, but this whole Indian takeover, has hit the forefront, and lots of people using the money, as a carrot and the stick, .bought it. And the Bureau of Indian Affairs has become a real chaotic situation since.

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M: Is Bruce the present Indian connnissioner? B: Yes. M: Well, now, with regard to the Miccosukees and their relationship to this B: All right. The Miccosukees agreed to take over. M: Their own affairs? 35 B: Their own affairs. But all they had down there, was the edu cational department. That's all they had. So, the Miccocukees have taken over the management of the school. The government underwrites it, and the superintendent has since moved. Dave Buford Morrison, a nice guy and another Indian too. And now this is the irony of it: an Indian will be in a position of leadership, like down there at Miccosukee. And they want to get into this program, they want to take over, by themselves, and so they take over. And the man who is actually in the lead ership role down there is a Doctor Rabein and he's white. But they had good leadership with an Indian. M: What is he doctor of? B: I don't know, doctor of philosophy or something. He's head of the NYC program now. The OEO program. M: But they don't have an Indian for superintendent any longer? B: No, but he's the compadre of Buffalo Tiger. M: And they relate to the U.S. government through him? B: Well, the point is they don't relate to the government through him, except that he advises Buffalo. He's running the program, for all intents and purposes. As far as the government is con cerned, Doctor Rabein has no official status. But he does that for the tribe. M: Buffalo Tiger's not considered a superintendent? Is he? Or agent? He's just the chief executive officer. B: No, no. In fact, he's the chief executive officer of the tribe.

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36 M: How many have they got down there? B: Oh, maybe four hundred. M: Which is roughly one-quarter of the whole tribe, I guess. Around fifteen hundred, aren't there? B: Yes. M: Today? B: Roughly. M: Have you ever seen any fundamental difference between the Micco sukee speakers and the Creek speakers? I mean, other than the fact they want to be considered so? Do you see any basic racial, or whatever you want to call it, tribal characteristics? B: Yes and no. This is a kind of qualified answer. Because I don't know the meaning of it, and oftentimes I'm not sure, because there's some intermarriage between the Miccosukees and the Creeks. So I might be talking about how fine the Creek people are, and the person I'm referring to might be Miccosukee, you know, I'm not sure. There is a definate difference in their outlook, attitude, their relationship with the surrounding community. And I attribute this, probably, to the fact that the Big Cypress people and the Miccosukee people retreated back into the swamps, and they were more isolated for a longer period of time than the ones at Brighton. And the Brighton people, the Cow Creeks, probably were surrounded by white society, in their respective farm Indian camps, or what ever you might call them. So they accepted, we'll say, our culture to much greater degree than this group that were concentrated back in the swamps. Other than that, I don't think there's that much difference in them. M: Did you ever develop any capability to follow the language, either one of them? B: No. M: They're pretty difficult? B: Yes.

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M: Not many white men can. Do you know any that can? West can talk some Miccosukee. Do you know anybody else that can? B: Charlie Knight. M: Can he talk? B: Yes. He can talk a little bit, now, I think it's Creek. I think he can talk. M: Yes, but either of them. 37 B: Other than_that, I don't know of anybody. Way back on the early days, in the Blackfeet, I made up my mind, you know, coming out of school, and I wasn't a kid -I was 34 when I came to work for the government -I decided I'd learn to speak with the people. I felt that this was the way to get to them. I picked up a few words of the Blackfeet tongue, and then they trans ferred me to the Sioux, which is an entirely different lan guage. M: Yes. B: So I started learning a little bit of Sioux. And then I was transferred again. You know. M: It must be tough. B: So, the first' thing you know, you give it up. There's one thing that's universal, and that's the sign language. And that would be the thing for a person to talk. Particularly with the Plains Indians. M: What do you mean, are there specific signs that everyone under stands? B: Yes. One tribe to another. It's a kind of universal language among them. M: Is that so? B: Yes. And it's really interesting to sit there and watch members of two different tribes sit there and talk with their hands. They're very good.

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38 M: I've never seen this done. B: Well, if someone asked me today to sum up the Seminole people, after four years of working very closely with them, I would say that I have to admire them for their stubborness and their obstinacy--they aren't easily swayed, they are ultraconservative. They're conservative to a degree that is harmful. Because they will not take the chance, when it comes to speculating with their own money. There are several things about the Seminoles that, with our insight or background, we decry, and one of them is the morality among them. But, as far as the Indian people are concerned, it's not immoral, it's amoral: they are without morals. M: From our point of view. B: From our point of view. M: It's a different culture. B: They have very little economics management ability. They cannot manage people or money, as it applies in a business sense. And this, I think, is the reason that all of their enterprises fail. They feel that if there is money brought into a business, it can be spent without considering the needs of the business itself. This is their big weakness in our society, because we are dollar oriented. And they are not. M: That's probably why Louise Jones had problems in accounting, you know. Culturally, she probably didn't get it. B: Oh, no. M: What is it all about? I never thought of that, but I'll bet that's one reason. B: I think this is right. M: They could use a few trained bookkeepers of their own, that they could trust. B: There are a few. M: Accountants. B: Yes. There are a few that come in there, but they're unimagi

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39 native, in a sense. If they've been taught something, two and two is four--it's, two and two is four. But if it's two, one, and one, it's different. M: They don't get the system, I think, culturally they don't get it. B: Right. But, getting back to another little vignette--about the ability of the Seminoles to assimilate the English language--an Alaskan Eskimo wandered down here one time and dropped in at our place for a job. We referred him to the state hospital, or state training school, down the road a ways. They were looking for attendants. We asked him to report back to us, to Mr. Jamer and Mrs. Tommie, Dorothy Tommie. And the fellow got the job, no problem. And we asked him about it, and he said, well, the only thing about it was .that they gave him a little test to answer before he got the job. Because he had to be able to read and write, because the instructions from one shift to another were, were written. For instance, if the attendant was watching a par ticularly dangerous or ill person, they'd write instructions, and so a successor attendant would come on and read these instruc tions and pass them on, that way. So there was need for the ability to comprehend, and the ability to read and write. So this Eskimo brought back a copy of this little comprehensive paragraph that he was supposed to analyze and tell what it meant. I handed this to Mrs. Tommie. Now, Mrs. Tommie is supposed to be one of the more intelligent Seminole secretaries. And she studied that for five minutes. And she handed it back, and she said, "Don't ask me, I don't even know what it means. 11 And this is what we found out from all of the tests that were given to kids. Is that, if there's an instruction that's written, they don't understand the meaning of words--they can't interpolate. Nor can they deal in abstracts.