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Interview with Richard Smith, June 28, 1972

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Title:
Interview with Richard Smith, June 28, 1972
Creator:
Smith, Richard ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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

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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.

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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 64 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Richard Smith
INTERVIEWER: Tom King
DATE: September 1972
DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION


SUMMARY
As one of the two deputies appointed by the Tribal Council,
Richard Smith gives a knowledgeable account of law enforcement
on Brighton Reservation. Under Chairman Billy Osceola,
the tribal deputies were placed under the
authority of Glades County Sheriff in an effort to gain
strength from local rather than state administration.
Smith describes the liquor, glue and gas problems, and juvenile delinquency.
He is concerned with the Indian lack of respect for Indian law enforcement as well as
with the lack of equipment given the Indian deputies.


INDEX
Bowers, Tom (deputy), 1-2, 4, 14-15
cattle (rustling), 11-12
Drug abuse (on reservation), 8-11
Green Corn Dance, 8-9
juvenile delinquency, 8, 12-13
law enforcement
deputies (Tribal Council appointees), 1-4, 14
Glades County Sheriff, 2-7, 13-15
NYC program (Neighborhood Youth Corps), 9
Osceola, Billy, 3
Transcultural Contacts
traditional Indian law and state law, 5-7, 14-15
boarding school influence, 11


K: Mr. Smith, how long have you been a deputy?
S: It'll be two years in August now. Pretty close to two years,
this coming August.
K: How did you get the job?
S: Oh, the Council just put in a program for law and order in
there. They had it on the application for a long time. No-
body else ever took it. I don't know, I just got a thought
I might help some young people out a little bit better, 'cause
one boy was having a drinking problem.
K: A drinking problem?
S: And then he got in the colored and got messed up in that. I
thought maybe if I'd go down and help control it a little bit,
maybe I'd be helping him out.
K: Was there a deputy before you here?
S: Ah, well, Tom [Bowers] used to be, a long time ago. About
maybe '41. [question aside to Tom Bowers, who is sitting
with us under the chickee. Tom tells him '61.] '61.
K: Were you the first deputy then, Mr. Bowers?
B: No.
S: No. His brother was at one time I think. His brother used to
be one, too.
K: So, you've only had two deputies on the reservation since you
started, is that correct? And prior to that, there was only
one deputy?
S: Yes. There was just one.
B: Two. My brother started first.
K: Who pays you?
S: The tribe, the tribal council. We get our money set aside from


2
the budget money. It goes on the Cypress Officer's List.
There's another one down on Big Cypress on the same set
of arrangements.
K: Could I ask you how much they pay you? It doesn't matter
if you don't want to tell me.
S: We're getting $125 a week. Now they tell us we're supposed
to be getting a raise this coming July.
K: I understand that the Tribal Council has given the Glades
County Sheriff authority over the Seminole police. Is this
true?
S: Ah, I guess that we usually report over there. Whatever
problems we get, we usually go to the Glades County Sher-
iff's Department.
K: Do they ever tell you what to do?
S: Well, not really. My only patrol area is mostly on the re-
servation. I hardly ever go out in the county, within the
county. I just sort of work on the reservation.
K: Do you know just when it was that the Tribal Council gave
the sheriff that authority, the authority to control you
and Mr. Bowers?
S: Probably at the time we started this. We used to be under state
authority. They hardly ever had any protection here on the re-
servation at that time so we just carried it over in the county
where we could work it between the county and the reservation.
K: And you started, you say, in 1961? Right?
S: No. '70, I said, 1970. Going on two years now.
K: No, I don't mean you. I'm talking about the program with the
sheriff in charge of you and Mr. Bowers. Do you know when that
started?
S: Oh, I don't know.
K: It really doesn't matter. Do you know who the chairman of the
Tribal Council was when they gave that authority to the Glades
County Sheriff? [Richard looks to Tom Bowers who says something


3
in Creek; the date 1951 is mentioned.]
S: Well, who was on the Tribal Council?
B: Osceola.
S: Bill or Billy?
B: Billy.
S: That'd be Billy Osceola.
K: Do you know just what the agreement is? What authority they
have over you.
S: No, sir, I don't know. I have never looked into the records
yet.
K: Do the Seminole police have the same authority as white police,
as the white sheriff's department?
S: Well, we have as much authority as any deputy in the county.
K: Do you have any idea how the arrangement between the Seminoles
and the Glades County Sheriff's Department could be improved?
Do you have any thoughts on that? Are you satisfied with things
the way they are now?
S: No. Not really. If we had cars, you know, with a radio, regular
police cars and everything, it would be all right. We'd be in
all that stuff together.
K: They don't provide you with any equipment then?
S: The tribe does, tries to, like that jeep there, but the county
don't hardly ever provide you with anything except deputizing
us, and we trying to be working out here.
K: If something happens on the reservation and you're not at home,
you're not within reach of a phone, how do they get in touch
with you? Do they have a radio system here that they can call
you with?
S: In the Glades County?


K: No, I mean, here on the reservation. Say something happens here,
and someone needs your help, how do they get in touch with you?
S: Usually, they have to come looking for us in this area around
here, they're gonna find us. Hunt Tom out in the woods (laughter).
K: Would you like to have your own police force, free of any white
control?
S: Yes, I'd like to see it one day where we can have our own police
force within the tribe.
K: Do you have any criticism of the white control over your police
force? Up until this point.
S: Well, we haven't had too much problem with them. We've just kind
of worked along with them 'cause, you know, they know so much
more about it than we do right now. We just sort of work with
them, try to get as much experience as we can, to go along.
K: What kind of a training program did the tribal council provide
you with?
S: We don't have no training as far as this here program under the
county right now, but they sent some money for us to go to regu-
lar police training course. But they haven't got a grant yet
for this other.
K: Has the Glades County Sheriff's Department ever given you any
training?
S: No, not yet. They have, for a regular training program. Some
time, they had one just right after I started, but I missed it.
So, they never told me when the next one is.
K: If you did have your own police force, would you do anything
differently from the way that it is done right now?
S: Yes, I think so. We wouldn't have, you know, to go in and out,
the courts, you know. That'd be something else, too. We'd
have to have a court.
K: But you would be in favor of having a Seminole court here on the


5
reservation? Is that right?
S: Well, I'd like to see it, but I don't think they would
let us try it. White people, like that. 'Cause I know
the Choctaws got their own police force and any white
people they do get, they can't try in their court. They've
got a court system too, but they can't try any non-Indians.
Well, that would be one problem.
K: That brings up another question. Are there any major dif-
ferences, or what are the major differences between the
old tribal law and the laws of Glades County and the State
of Florida that you have to support now? Are there any ma-
jor differences where they would contradict each other or
conflict or anything like that?
S: No, we never did have too much laws on the reservation. I
mean, they made some rules, but the people never did follow
up on them, and it's kind of hard for them to go into it
now, so we're trying to do what the county rules are.
K: You would say then, that there was no conflict?
S: No conflict.
K: Between traditional Indian law and the law now?
S: No.
K: When the Seminoles agreed to abide by the laws of the state
and the county, did the average Seminole on the reservation
have an understanding of these laws?
S: I don't think the older ones did. I think just the younger
generation probably know it now. I mean, the old people, you
know, like they go on like in the style...I don't think they
really understood it too much, you know, that the law was
coming in.
K: They never knew they were breaking any laws, then?
S: No. As long as they was on the reservation, they weren't
breaking anything, you know?
-


6
K: Was there any resulting confusion because they didn't under-
stand the laws?
S: Yes, some of the older people, you run into drunken Indians
out there in the road sometimes. You stop them, and ask
them, see if they're well enough to go home and sober up now.
It's kind of hard for some to know it; they don't bother no-
body and all that, you know. Seems like, you know, when they
are at home they don't bother nothing, but you know. When
they're on the highway, you know, you have to control them,
but some don't understand that.
K: One of the people in the Sheriff's Department, Glades County,
told me that when the reservation first came under county law,
some of the Seminoles would call up the sheriff and get him to
try and come out to settle family quarrels. Do you know any-
thing about that?
S: Yes.
K: Could you tell me about that?
S: We had that all the time. Just having a family spat, and some-
body coming over and wake you up at night, dressing. We don't
have that much that you can do, if anybody is having a fight
within his family, you know. If it's a serious brawl, you
could do something about it. But when it's just fighting and
by the time you get there, they're all settled down, you know,
there ain't hardly anything to do. Really, ask questions, and
that's about it, you know. Just tell them to settle down, that's
about all you can do. But I guess sometimes they want us to
take somebody in, you know, and you can't hardly do that.
K: I also understand that they wanted you to discipline their
children, too.
S: Yeah.
K: Is that true? Did you ever spank any kids or anything like that?
.S: I ain't never spanked anybody. When I find them late at night,
I try to get them to go home, you know. But I like to help
them out a little, you know, and maybe try to work with them


7
during the day and tell them they shouldn't be out that late,
you know. It's better helping them kids out.
K: Does that kind of thing still go on now? Do you still have to
help out families and discipline young people and things like
that?
S: Yes, sometimes we have to kind of go look for them 'cause they
don't come home late every night. They party all night long
somewhere else and we have to go look for them.
K: On the reservation is there any resentment of the presence of
the white sheriffs when they come on the reservation?
S: No. I think they have respect more for them than I get.
K: Do they?
S: Yeah. They respect them more than they do us most of the time.
K: Do you have any idea why they respect them more than they do
you?
S: I don't know. I guess they don't realize that we have as much
control as he has and all. But they really want him to come
out sometimes, I have to call him, see, to make them satisfied,
I guess.
K: Do you think that they respect your authority as an enforcer of
the laws on the reservation?
S: Yes, well, most of them are getting to be there now, but when I
started out, you know, they wanted me to be mostly just a middle
man. I have to call them up and that's about all.
K: Did anybody ever explain to them that you have the same author-
ity as the white sheriff?
S: No, they never did. The council and the chairman were going to
come out and have a meeting one time, but they never did hold
it, so I guess they don't really know yet.
K: During the time that you've been a sheriff's deputy out here,


8
what are the major problems that you've had to deal with on the
reservation?
S: I guess probably juvenile delinquency. Most of the children,
being minors and all that stuff, young people drinking. They
have mostly young people getting drunk with the older people
now. They've got a couple of boys in "boys' school" now be-
cause they got picked up for drinking while they were still
young.
K: When did that problem start? Has that always been a problem,
young people drinking?
S: I don't know how it started, but I guess it has always been go-
ing on. I know when I was still younger, that stomp dancing
they have over there, what they call the...
K: What was that?
S: We have the Green Corn Dance where the Indians get together
and have a dance and ceremonies and all that stuff. Over there,
you know, the liquor runs free and anybody can get drunk over
there. I guess that's the reason why the young people, you
know, where they have their start. Then when they go back here,
they know they can't do that like they do over there. But they
try to, and they get in a lot of trouble like that, the young
people.
K: Do you think the problem is getting any worse, or is it im-
proving?
S: I think most of the young, middle-aged group now understands
that they can't be serving liquor to the younger ones, you know,
under age. Then these young guys will have to get somebody else
to get the jug for them. So I think this middle-aged group is
kind of trying to help us out. I think they kind of slow them
down, but they get together sometime and then they have one,
every now and then.
K: Do you have many problems to deal with here during the course
of a week? Are you kept very busy?
S: No. There ain't too much going on out here in the daytime,


9
during the daylight hours. Usually at night is when. On the
weekends, mostly, is about the time the biggest trouble is.
Weekdays we don't have to do anything.
K: Do you think there's any relation between the income, the
money that a family makes, and the little petty crimes that
are committed such as drinking and so on? In other words, do
the people that aren't making any commit crimes, or is it the
people who are making a lot of money?
S: Well, the drinking kind is those that make a little bit of
money, I mean, not very much money. They spend it. As soon
as they get their hands on the money, they'll spend it. But,
I think most of the women and the kids in this new program,
the NYC program, where they work and earn their own money.
And then, when they get their little money, that's when they
go out and get a few drinks.
K: What is the NYC program?
S: It's a government program that the tribal council put in for
that they use to get work on the different areas, like this
store here that employs Seminole boys and girls of school age.
They work so many hours a week, about 26 hours, and they get
paid every two weeks. I guess something gets in them when
they get money in their pocket. Like when we were young, we
didn't have that kind of program and we didn't have too much
money to spend or go looking for drinks.
K: There wasn't much of a drinking problem when you were a boy
then?
S: No. We never did. No. Not as bad as it's getting to be
now. I guess some of the young ones are really getting start-
ed now. The rest of us never did hardly do any drinking, ex-
cept when we went up to that stomp dance over there.
K: I understand that gas sniffing used to be a problem on the
reservation. Is that true?
S: Ah, yes. I think so. 'Cause I know that most of us come
through that stage, I guess. I remember that time we got


10
caught at the schoolhouse one day, all of us boys. We were
supposed to be going to school. We were just messing around
over there. I don't know. I guess we was just trying out
like whether it was good or not.
K: Were you sniffing gas?
S: Yeah, we did.
K: What kind of a feeling do you get when you sniff gas?
S: Oh, let's see.
K: Do you feel drunk, or is it something different?
S: Well, it seem like we get drunk, you get lightheaded, you
know, and you can't hardly walk straight, you know. I don't
know whether we get enough or not when we sniffing that. I
know one boy that used to feel so bad about it. He stayed all
day on those things. But I tried a little bit of that one
time. I guess we didn't have nothing better doing.
K: Do you know how that got started?
S: Well, I don't really know.
K: Do you know when? Got any idea?
S: Don't think so, no. Don't have any idea of when it started,
but I think it had already started when I tried it.
K: How was the problem dealt with, gas sniffing?
S: I don't know. I think it just went over, like anything else,
like games and that stuff, like marble games season, you
know. It'd be marble shooting one time and pretty soon we'd
switch over to something else like that, and they just
switched over like that, and they kind of quit that thing a-
round here. But I understand that Big Cypress was really bad
about that, down there.
K: Is there any of that going on around here now?


11
S: Not that I know of, but I think glue sniffing is what
goes on around here, but I haven't seen it yet.
K: Glue sniffing. I hadn't heard about that. What kind of
glue do they sniff?
S: I don't really know what they do. But I think some of
these boys that goes out to boarding school get their
ideas from over there, somehow. They come back here.
K: Where are these boarding schools that they go to?
S: Most of them go to Oklahoma, Choctaw, and Mississippi.
K: Is drinking a problem with adults on the reservation?
Or is it just a problem with children and juveniles?
S: Ah, there's a few adults that drinks almost every week-
end, but there ain't no problem in this, they just drink
in their home.
K: They don't get in trouble when they get drunk?
S: No, we don't have no trouble with them except once in a
while somebody getting disorderly drunk somewhere, but
that's not too often.
K: How about drugs? Any problem with that? Marijuana?
S: Just marijuana, I heard was going on around here now,
we've been trying to look into it to find out where it is
but we haven't got it yet. We're still looking out. We just
haven't gotten hold of it yet.
K: I've been told that whites used to come on the reservation
and steal your cattle? When was that?
S: I don't really know how long ago that was, but I know that
thing used to go on a long time before.
K: Do you know what the tribe did about it?
S: I don't know if they ever did anything about it. I never heard


12
anything, any case come up about that.
K: How was it done? Would they come on with trucks at night or
what?
S: I don't really know. Some people would be missing cows every
time they'd have a round up. They'd count 'em, you know, and
every time they'd have a round up they'd be some short every
time. That's how they thought somebody was coming in and get-
ting 'em. One place there lost twenty-six head last year.
K: Last year?
S: Yes.
K: Who was this?
S: That's the tribal project down there. They never did find out
who it was.
K: Do you think it was whites?
S: I don't know. I don't know if somebody stole them. That many
head at one time, I don't think they'd get them, but over a
year, that's hard to come up short.
K: What other problem, other than cattle rustling, have you had
with white people on the reservation?
S: Mostly it's these young white boys or Mexicans or something
comes, I guess, looking for a party late at night, you know.
We used to have bad trouble with the Mexicans for awhile, you
know. They kept coming around, messing around. We haven't
seen them lately.
K: What would they do?
S: Those Mexicans?
K: Yes, when they came up to the reservation.
S: They was bringing out drinks some of them, you know, bringing


13
up drinks to these girls, taking up with these girls, you know.
K: What did you do about it?
S: One time we caught two and took them down to county, jailed
them, you know. There wasn't much we could hold them on. We
just got them down there. The sheriff and I just talked to
them. They ain't allowed on the reservation, and they wasn't
allowed on the reservation at night. We just talked to them
alone. So we never did have much trouble with them again.
K: Have you had any problem with Indians from other tribes coming
on the reservation? Doing anything you don't like?
S: Yes. Some of them, you know, sometimes, where they come from
they drink all the time, you know, and they come around here
and they get in with the young people, and they go drinking
around. Some of them used to have cars around here, they'd
come down.
K: How do you deal with that? Just ask them to leave the reservation or what?
S: Well, we have done that, go down and ask them to keep it quiet
or they'll have to leave.
K: Is there any problem with juvenile delinquency on the reservation?
S: Yes. I think so. It's about several problems every week, you
know.
K: Is there any stealing going on or just drinking, fighting? What
is it?
S: Mostly just drinking and staying up real late hours in the morn-
ing. They're really only about twelve, thirteen years old, and
they stay up late at night. I don't know what they do, they
just go around and...
K: When you catch them, how do you deal with them? Do you bring in
the white sheriffs or do you take care of all that yourself?


14
S: When it's young people like that I try to deal with them
myself, you know, telling them they could get really in
trouble, you know. I explain to them that they shouldn't
be out.
K: Do you think that Seminoles are treated fairly by the
white judicial system when they're brought up for trial?
Do you think they're given fair sentences and so on?
S: Yes, sometimes they do, and sometimes I'd like to see more.
Sometimes they let them go. Sometimes they're kind of easy
on them and makes it kind of hard on us. They get mixed up
again and we'll have to bring them back again. Our system
over at Moorehaven, you know, they're not too hard on the
Indians. Most of the time they dismiss the case, and the
Indians get so used to it, they know they ain't being brought
in for nothing anyway. Go right back to doing what they done.
That's about the same kind of these young folks, I mean the
old group, go and get in an accident. They take them in and
they might lose their driver's license for about two or three
weeks, and they might not lose it. And they go right on.
Sometimes they have sent delinquents up to Atlanta. Sometimes
when minors come before the court they have no case, you
know, and they throw it out.
K: Can you think of any other comments you'd like to make about
what you and Tom Bowers do on the reservation in the way of
police work?
S: I just wish the tribe would get us a better transportation
system or radio system so that we could communicate with
Glades County like now we can't sometimes. But usually we
can't hardly get Glades County to help you when you need
something. Can't hardly get the radio to catch them. They
close up maybe about two o'clock in the morning; any time
after that, you can't hardly catch them.
K: Anything else, or is that about it?
S: Well, I think that's about it. We've done the best we can
and just try to work with what is given us. I think we've
been doing pretty good.
K: How do you personally feel about the white sheriffs being on


15
the reservation? Have they been cooperating with you? Do you
have any complaints, or anything you'd like to see changed a-
bout the way they operate with you?
S: No, they have been pretty good every time I've tried to get
them to come out. They always cooperate. They come out and
do what they can. I think they've done as much as they can,
within the law that they know. It's kind of different out
here, you know.
K: Have you been given any instructions on just what the laws are?
Are you familiar with all the laws of the county?
S: They gave me a book on how to make arrests and all this stuff
and what crimes there are and all that. I think maybe I learn-
ed the procedures. But these people don't realize that we can't
just go over there and pick somebody up without no reason. Some-
body be hitting and knock somebody down somewhere and then they
want you to pick them up. But they don't see if the other guy
don't complain, you can't do nothing about it. Sometimes they
think you're not doing anything. So they want the white cop to
come out and see what they can do, you know. I try to tell them
they would probably tell you the same thing but I guess some don't
realize that.
K: So the white police actually get more respect out here than you
do?
S: Yes. I think they're kind of afraid of them more. They straighten
up when they come around.
K: Do you think that's the basis of authority, fear?
S: I guess so, but how can I tell?
K: And they don't fear you and Mr. Bowers?
S: I don't know if they do or not. Most of them do.
K: Do you have any weapons?
S: No weapons were furnished by the tribe or by the Glades County
Sheriff's Department. Neither Tom nor I would ever use weapons
on anybody anyway.


Full Text

PAGE 1

INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: Richard Smith INTERVIEWER: Tom King DATE: September 1972 DORIS DUKE FOUNDATION

PAGE 2

SUMMARY As one of the two deputies appointed by the Tribal Council, Richard Smith gives a knowledgeable account of law enforcement on Brighton Reservation. Under Chairman Billy Osceola, the tribal deputies were placed under the authority of Glades County Sheriff in an effort to gain strength from local rather than state administration. Smith describes the liquor, glue and gas problems, and juvenile delinquency. He is concerned with the Indian lack of respect for Indian law enforcement as well as with the lack of equipment given the Indian deputies.

PAGE 3

INDEX Bowers, Tom (deputy), 1-2, 4, 14-15 cattle (rustling), 11-12 Drug abuse (on reservation), 8-11 Green Corn Dance, 8-9 juvenile delinquency, 8, 12-13 law enforcement deputies (Tribal Council appointees), 1-4, 14 Glades County Sheriff, 2-7, 13-15 NYC program (Neighborhood Youth Corps), 9 Osceola, Billy, 3 Transcultural Contacts traditional Indian law and state law, 5-7, 14-15 boarding school influence, 11

PAGE 4

K: Mr. Smith, how long have you been a deputy? S: It'll be two years in August now. Pretty close to two years, this coming August. K: How did you get the job? S: Oh, the Council just put in a program for law and order in there. They had it on the application for a long time. Nobody else ever took it. I don't know, I just got a thought I might help some young people out a little bit better, 'cause one boy was having a drinking problem. K: A drinking problem? S: And then he got in the colored and got messed up in that. I thought maybe if I'd go down and help control it a little bit, maybe I'd be helping him out. K: Was there a deputy before you here? S: Ah, well, Tom [Bowers] used to be, a long time ago. About maybe '41. [question aside to Tom Bowers, who is sitting with us under the chickee. Tom tells him '61.] '61. K: Were you the first deputy then, Mr. Bowers? B: No. S: No. His brother was at one time I think. His brother used to be one, too. K: So, you've only had two deputies on the reservation since you started, is that correct? And prior to that, there was only one deputy? S: Yes. There was just one. B: Two. My brother started first. K: Who pays you? S: The tribe, the tribal council. We get our money set aside from

PAGE 5

2 the budget money. It goes on the Cypress Officer's List. There's another one down on Big Cypress on the same set of arrangements. K: Could I ask you how much they pay you? It doesn't matter if you don't want to tell me. S: We're getting $125 a week. Now they tell us we're supposed to be getting a raise this coming July. K: I understand that the Tribal Council has given the Glades County Sheriff authority over the Seminole police. Is this true? S: Ah, I guess that we usually report over there. Whatever problems we get, we usually go to the Glades County Sheriff's Department. K: Do they ever tell you what to do? S: Well, not really. My only patrol area is mostly on the reservation. I hardly ever go out in the county, within the county. I just sort of work on the reservation. K: Do you know just when it was that the Tribal Council gave the sheriff that authority, the authority to control you and Mr. Bowers? S: Probably at the time we started this. We used to be under state authority. They hardly ever had any protection here on the reservation at that time so we just carried it over in the county where we could work it between the county and the reservation. K: And you started, you say, in 1961? Right? S: No. '70, I said, 1970. Going on two years now. K: No, I don't mean you. I'm talking about the program with the sheriff in charge of you and Mr. Bowers. Do you know when that started? S: Oh, I don't know. K: It really doesn't matter. Do you know who the chairman of the Tribal Council was when they gave that authority to the Glades County Sheriff? [Richard looks to Tom Bowers who says something

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3 in Creek; the date 1951 is mentioned.] S: Well, who was on the Tribal Council? B: Osceola. S: Bill or Billy? B: Billy. S: That'd be Billy Osceola. K: Do you know just what the agreement is? What authority they have over you. S: No, sir, I don't know. I have never looked into the records yet. K: Do the Seminole police have the same authority as white police, as the white sheriff's department? S: Well, we have as much authority as any deputy in the county. K: Do you have any idea how the arrangement between the Seminoles and the Glades County Sheriff's Department could be improved? Do you have any thoughts on that? Are you satisfied with things the way they are now? S: No. Not really. If we had cars, you know, with a radio, regular police cars and everything, it would be all right. We'd be in all that stuff together. K: They don't provide you with any equipment then? S: The tribe does, tries to, like that jeep there, but the county don't hardly ever provide you with anything except deputizing us, and we trying to be working out here. K: If something happens on the reservation and you're not at home, you're not within reach of a phone, how do they get in touch with you? Do they have a radio system here that they can call you with? S: In the Glades County?

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K: No, I mean, here on the reservation. Say something happens here, and someone needs your help, how do they get in touch with you? S: Usually, they have to come looking for us in this area around here, they're gonna find us. Hunt Tom out in the woods (laughter). K: Would you like to have your own police force, free of any white control? S: Yes, I'd like to see it one day where we can have our own police force within the tribe. K: Do you have any criticism of the white control over your police force? Up until this point. S: Well, we haven't had too much problem with them. We've just kind of worked along with them 'cause, you know, they know so much more about it than we do right now. We just sort of work with them, try to get as much experience as we can, to go along. K: What kind of a training program did the tribal council provide you with? S: We don't have no training as far as this here program under the county right now, but they sent some money for us to go to regular police training course. But they haven't got a grant yet for this other. K: Has the Glades County Sheriff's Department ever given you any training? S: No, not yet. They have, for a regular training program. Some time, they had one just right after I started, but I missed it. So, they never told me when the next one is. K: If you did have your own police force, would you do anything differently from the way that it is done right now? S: Yes, I think so. We wouldn't have, you know, to go in and out, the courts, you know. That'd be something else, too. We'd have to have a court. K: But you would be in favor of having a Seminole court here on the

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5 reservation? Is that right? S: Well, I'd like to see it, but I don't think they would let us try it. White people, like that. 'Cause I know the Choctaws got their own police force and any white people they do get, they can't try in their court. They've got a court system too, but they can't try any non-Indians. Well, that would be one problem. K: That brings up another question. Are there any major differences, or what are the major differences between the old tribal law and the laws of Glades County and the State of Florida that you have to support now? Are there any major differences where they would contradict each other or conflict or anything like that? S: No, we never did have too much laws on the reservation. I mean, they made some rules, but the people never did follow up on them, and it's kind of hard for them to go into it now, so we're trying to do what the county rules are. K: You would say then, that there was no conflict? S: No conflict. K: Between traditional Indian law and the law now? S: No. K: When the Seminoles agreed to abide by the laws of the state and the county, did the average Seminole on the reservation have an understanding of these laws? S: I don't think the older ones did. I think just the younger generation probably know it now. I mean, the old people, you know, like they go on like in the style...I don't think they really understood it too much, you know, that the law was coming in. K: They never knew they were breaking any laws, then? S: No. As long as they was on the reservation, they weren't breaking anything, you know? -

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6 K: Was there any resulting confusion because they didn't understand the laws? S: Yes, some of the older people, you run into drunken Indians out there in the road sometimes. You stop them, and ask them, see if they're well enough to go home and sober up now. It's kind of hard for some to know it; they don't bother nobody and all that, you know. Seems like, you know, when they are at home they don't bother nothing, but you know. When they're on the highway, you know, you have to control them, but some don't understand that. K: One of the people in the Sheriff's Department, Glades County, told me that when the reservation first came under county law, some of the Seminoles would call up the sheriff and get him to try and come out to settle family quarrels. Do you know anything about that? S: Yes. K: Could you tell me about that? S: We had that all the time. Just having a family spat, and somebody coming over and wake you up at night, dressing. We don't have that much that you can do, if anybody is having a fight within his family, you know. If it's a serious brawl, you could do something about it. But when it's just fighting and by the time you get there, they're all settled down, you know, there ain't hardly anything to do. Really, ask questions, and that's about it, you know. Just tell them to settle down, that's about all you can do. But I guess sometimes they want us to take somebody in, you know, and you can't hardly do that. K: I also understand that they wanted you to discipline their children, too. S: Yeah. K: Is that true? Did you ever spank any kids or anything like that? .S: I ain't never spanked anybody. When I find them late at night, I try to get them to go home, you know. But I like to help them out a little, you know, and maybe try to work with them

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7 during the day and tell them they shouldn't be out that late, you know. It's better helping them kids out. K: Does that kind of thing still go on now? Do you still have to help out families and discipline young people and things like that? S: Yes, sometimes we have to kind of go look for them 'cause they don't come home late every night. They party all night long somewhere else and we have to go look for them. K: On the reservation is there any resentment of the presence of the white sheriffs when they come on the reservation? S: No. I think they have respect more for them than I get. K: Do they? S: Yeah. They respect them more than they do us most of the time. K: Do you have any idea why they respect them more than they do you? S: I don't know. I guess they don't realize that we have as much control as he has and all. But they really want him to come out sometimes, I have to call him, see, to make them satisfied, I guess. K: Do you think that they respect your authority as an enforcer of the laws on the reservation? S: Yes, well, most of them are getting to be there now, but when I started out, you know, they wanted me to be mostly just a middle man. I have to call them up and that's about all. K: Did anybody ever explain to them that you have the same authority as the white sheriff? S: No, they never did. The council and the chairman were going to come out and have a meeting one time, but they never did hold it, so I guess they don't really know yet. K: During the time that you've been a sheriff's deputy out here,

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8 what are the major problems that you've had to deal with on the reservation? S: I guess probably juvenile delinquency. Most of the children, being minors and all that stuff, young people drinking. They have mostly young people getting drunk with the older people now. They've got a couple of boys in "boys' school" now because they got picked up for drinking while they were still young. K: When did that problem start? Has that always been a problem, young people drinking? S: I don't know how it started, but I guess it has always been going on. I know when I was still younger, that stomp dancing they have over there, what they call the... K: What was that? S: We have the Green Corn Dance where the Indians get together and have a dance and ceremonies and all that stuff. Over there, you know, the liquor runs free and anybody can get drunk over there. I guess that's the reason why the young people, you know, where they have their start. Then when they go back here, they know they can't do that like they do over there. But they try to, and they get in a lot of trouble like that, the young people. K: Do you think the problem is getting any worse, or is it improving? S: I think most of the young, middle-aged group now understands that they can't be serving liquor to the younger ones, you know, under age. Then these young guys will have to get somebody else to get the jug for them. So I think this middle-aged group is kind of trying to help us out. I think they kind of slow them down, but they get together sometime and then they have one, every now and then. K: Do you have many problems to deal with here during the course of a week? Are you kept very busy? S: No. There ain't too much going on out here in the daytime,

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9 during the daylight hours. Usually at night is when. On the weekends, mostly, is about the time the biggest trouble is. Weekdays we don't have to do anything. K: Do you think there's any relation between the income, the money that a family makes, and the little petty crimes that are committed such as drinking and so on? In other words, do the people that aren't making any commit crimes, or is it the people who are making a lot of money? S: Well, the drinking kind is those that make a little bit of money, I mean, not very much money. They spend it. As soon as they get their hands on the money, they'll spend it. But, I think most of the women and the kids in this new program, the NYC program, where they work and earn their own money. And then, when they get their little money, that's when they go out and get a few drinks. K: What is the NYC program? S: It's a government program that the tribal council put in for that they use to get work on the different areas, like this store here that employs Seminole boys and girls of school age. They work so many hours a week, about 26 hours, and they get paid every two weeks. I guess something gets in them when they get money in their pocket. Like when we were young, we didn't have that kind of program and we didn't have too much money to spend or go looking for drinks. K: There wasn't much of a drinking problem when you were a boy then? S: No. We never did. No. Not as bad as it's getting to be now. I guess some of the young ones are really getting started now. The rest of us never did hardly do any drinking, except when we went up to that stomp dance over there. K: I understand that gas sniffing used to be a problem on the reservation. Is that true? S: Ah, yes. I think so. 'Cause I know that most of us come through that stage, I guess. I remember that time we got

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10 caught at the schoolhouse one day, all of us boys. We were supposed to be going to school. We were just messing around over there. I don't know. I guess we was just trying out like whether it was good or not. K: Were you sniffing gas? S: Yeah, we did. K: What kind of a feeling do you get when you sniff gas? S: Oh, let's see. K: Do you feel drunk, or is it something different? S: Well, it seem like we get drunk, you get lightheaded, you know, and you can't hardly walk straight, you know. I don't know whether we get enough or not when we sniffing that. I know one boy that used to feel so bad about it. He stayed all day on those things. But I tried a little bit of that one time. I guess we didn't have nothing better doing. K: Do you know how that got started? S: Well, I don't really know. K: Do you know when? Got any idea? S: Don't think so, no. Don't have any idea of when it started, but I think it had already started when I tried it. K: How was the problem dealt with, gas sniffing? S: I don't know. I think it just went over, like anything else, like games and that stuff, like marble games season, you know. It'd be marble shooting one time and pretty soon we'd switch over to something else like that, and they just switched over like that, and they kind of quit that thing around here. But I understand that Big Cypress was really bad about that, down there. K: Is there any of that going on around here now?

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11 S: Not that I know of, but I think glue sniffing is what goes on around here, but I haven't seen it yet. K: Glue sniffing. I hadn't heard about that. What kind of glue do they sniff? S: I don't really know what they do. But I think some of these boys that goes out to boarding school get their ideas from over there, somehow. They come back here. K: Where are these boarding schools that they go to? S: Most of them go to Oklahoma, Choctaw, and Mississippi. K: Is drinking a problem with adults on the reservation? Or is it just a problem with children and juveniles? S: Ah, there's a few adults that drinks almost every weekend, but there ain't no problem in this, they just drink in their home. K: They don't get in trouble when they get drunk? S: No, we don't have no trouble with them except once in a while somebody getting disorderly drunk somewhere, but that's not too often. K: How about drugs? Any problem with that? Marijuana? S: Just marijuana, I heard was going on around here now, we've been trying to look into it to find out where it is but we haven't got it yet. We're still looking out. We just haven't gotten hold of it yet. K: I've been told that whites used to come on the reservation and steal your cattle? When was that? S: I don't really know how long ago that was, but I know that thing used to go on a long time before. K: Do you know what the tribe did about it? S: I don't know if they ever did anything about it. I never heard

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12 anything, any case come up about that. K: How was it done? Would they come on with trucks at night or what? S: I don't really know. Some people would be missing cows every time they'd have a round up. They'd count 'em, you know, and every time they'd have a round up they'd be some short every time. That's how they thought somebody was coming in and getting 'em. One place there lost twenty-six head last year. K: Last year? S: Yes. K: Who was this? S: That's the tribal project down there. They never did find out who it was. K: Do you think it was whites? S: I don't know. I don't know if somebody stole them. That many head at one time, I don't think they'd get them, but over a year, that's hard to come up short. K: What other problem, other than cattle rustling, have you had with white people on the reservation? S: Mostly it's these young white boys or Mexicans or something comes, I guess, looking for a party late at night, you know. We used to have bad trouble with the Mexicans for awhile, you know. They kept coming around, messing around. We haven't seen them lately. K: What would they do? S: Those Mexicans? K: Yes, when they came up to the reservation. S: They was bringing out drinks some of them, you know, bringing

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13 up drinks to these girls, taking up with these girls, you know. K: What did you do about it? S: One time we caught two and took them down to county, jailed them, you know. There wasn't much we could hold them on. We just got them down there. The sheriff and I just talked to them. They ain't allowed on the reservation, and they wasn't allowed on the reservation at night. We just talked to them alone. So we never did have much trouble with them again. K: Have you had any problem with Indians from other tribes coming on the reservation? Doing anything you don't like? S: Yes. Some of them, you know, sometimes, where they come from they drink all the time, you know, and they come around here and they get in with the young people, and they go drinking around. Some of them used to have cars around here, they'd come down. K: How do you deal with that? Just ask them to leave the reservation or what? S: Well, we have done that, go down and ask them to keep it quiet or they'll have to leave. K: Is there any problem with juvenile delinquency on the reservation? S: Yes. I think so. It's about several problems every week, you know. K: Is there any stealing going on or just drinking, fighting? What is it? S: Mostly just drinking and staying up real late hours in the morning. They're really only about twelve, thirteen years old, and they stay up late at night. I don't know what they do, they just go around and... K: When you catch them, how do you deal with them? Do you bring in the white sheriffs or do you take care of all that yourself?

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14 S: When it's young people like that I try to deal with them myself, you know, telling them they could get really in trouble, you know. I explain to them that they shouldn't be out. K: Do you think that Seminoles are treated fairly by the white judicial system when they're brought up for trial? Do you think they're given fair sentences and so on? S: Yes, sometimes they do, and sometimes I'd like to see more. Sometimes they let them go. Sometimes they're kind of easy on them and makes it kind of hard on us. They get mixed up again and we'll have to bring them back again. Our system over at Moorehaven, you know, they're not too hard on the Indians. Most of the time they dismiss the case, and the Indians get so used to it, they know they ain't being brought in for nothing anyway. Go right back to doing what they done. That's about the same kind of these young folks, I mean the old group, go and get in an accident. They take them in and they might lose their driver's license for about two or three weeks, and they might not lose it. And they go right on. Sometimes they have sent delinquents up to Atlanta. Sometimes when minors come before the court they have no case, you know, and they throw it out. K: Can you think of any other comments you'd like to make about what you and Tom Bowers do on the reservation in the way of police work? S: I just wish the tribe would get us a better transportation system or radio system so that we could communicate with Glades County like now we can't sometimes. But usually we can't hardly get Glades County to help you when you need something. Can't hardly get the radio to catch them. They close up maybe about two o'clock in the morning; any time after that, you can't hardly catch them. K: Anything else, or is that about it? S: Well, I think that's about it. We've done the best we can and just try to work with what is given us. I think we've been doing pretty good. K: How do you personally feel about the white sheriffs being on

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15 the reservation? Have they been cooperating with you? Do you have any complaints, or anything you'd like to see changed about the way they operate with you? S: No, they have been pretty good every time I've tried to get them to come out. They always cooperate. They come out and do what they can. I think they've done as much as they can, within the law that they know. It's kind of different out here, you know. K: Have you been given any instructions on just what the laws are? Are you familiar with all the laws of the county? S: They gave me a book on how to make arrests and all this stuff and what crimes there are and all that. I think maybe I learned the procedures. But these people don't realize that we can't just go over there and pick somebody up without no reason. Somebody be hitting and knock somebody down somewhere and then they want you to pick them up. But they don't see if the other guy don't complain, you can't do nothing about it. Sometimes they think you're not doing anything. So they want the white cop to come out and see what they can do, you know. I try to tell them they would probably tell you the same thing but I guess some don't realize that. K: So the white police actually get more respect out here than you do? S: Yes. I think they're kind of afraid of them more. They straighten up when they come around. K: Do you think that's the basis of authority, fear? S: I guess so, but how can I tell? K: And they don't fear you and Mr. Bowers? S: I don't know if they do or not. Most of them do. K: Do you have any weapons? S: No weapons were furnished by the tribe or by the Glades County Sheriff's Department. Neither Tom nor I would ever use weapons on anybody anyway.