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Interview with Laura Mae Osceola, June 24, 1992

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Title:
Interview with Laura Mae Osceola, June 24, 1992
Creator:
Osceola, Laura Mae ( 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
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 209 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Interviewee: Laura Mae Osceola
Interviewer: Billy Cypress
June 24, 1992


C: We are here with Laura Mae Osceola. This is Billy Cypress. We are at Laura Mae Osceola's house on the Hollywood reservation.
Today is June 24, 1992. We are
going to do a Seminole survey with Laura Mae this morning. These questions relate
to the informant's recollection about the early years of Seminole tribal organization
and government between 1957 and 1970. Laura speaks Miccosukee, but we are going
to go ahead and speak in English so that the typist can understand it better so they
can type. Where did you live in 1957?
O: I lived on what was known as Big City, but after we organized we changed it to
Hollywood, Florida.
C: Why did you favor or oppose tribal organization?
O: I favored the tribal organization. Going way back in 1953, there was a law in
Washington that they were going to abolish government supervision over Menomini Indians.
We were the second tribe that was going to have government supervision
taken away. During that time we did not have anything. We did not have houses.
We just wandered around off and on the reservation. So we gathered [together] all
of the Indian people on the reservation. We had the big meeting under that tree.
Some people did not want the government to quit until they had built everything up.
We only had a cattle program, I think, at that time, and we knew the boundaries of
the reservations on all three reservations. We did not have anybody who was
educated at that time. Well, we could count on our fingers how many were with a
high school [degree].
When we wanted something, they had moved the agency from Hollywood to Fort
Myers. We had to go all the way up there to get help for the Indian people when
we needed something. We did not have any money. The group selected the people
to go and fight this tak[ing] supervision away from the government on all three
reservations. I think the trail people met with us because they were considered
Seminoles at that time. They were also using some of the hospitalization that was
here on the reservation.
So we had a meeting and they selected us to represent and talk since we did not
want supervision to be taken away from us until we had all of this built up, until we
had some more young people educated to be able to take care of the tribal
government. Then we came to find out that we did not have any money, you know.
We [heard] a rumor there that we had some money in Tallahassee that we could use
for those trips. Being the Indian people, they never hardly had any Indian women
[representatives]. The Indian women had their place and stayed behind. But I was
surprised because I guess I could speak English, and that is why [I was selected].
[Of] all of the men from Miccosukee that were selected and Big Cypress and
Brighton and Hollywood, I was the only woman that was selected to go with them
to go talk to the government. There is a committee report filed in the public
-1-


hearings up in Washington. If you can find that information that would be good for
you, when we all went before 1957.
That was the reason why I wanted organization, so we would be able to fight and
handle our own business and help people to get better organized. I had been away
to school, so I realized that you can live in the woods plus you can live better in a
house [away] from diseases and stuff like that. All of these things. I guess I was
nineteen, twenty years old when I started thinking about having better things for the
Seminole people.
C: So, those are reasons you favored the tribal organization.
O: Yes.
C: Why were you chosen for the constitutional committee?
O: I was not chosen, but I had done all the work before--interpreting for the elders and
standing before the committee in Washington, D.C., and I had traveled with them on
all three reservations to tell people about what was happening. I was like a town
crier. Whatever news I heard, I went around and told people about it. They went
on a committee, but after the committee had set up I felt good because I felt like I
worked hard to get to a point where they were going to write constitution by-laws.
I had a family, my kids were small, and I could not find a baby sitter or anything
because I was kind of feeling relaxed at that time. But then, after Rex Quinn came
down and helped us write those by-laws, they got me into it again and I had to go to
all three reservations to interpret word by word the constitution by-laws.
C: Laura, how did Mr. Quinn help with organization?
O: We had been requesting the Muskogee office because we were under [the] Muskogee
office. So one time we requested the office and I guess it finally got to the
Washington office. I think Mr. Quinn was working as head or director. I do not
know what his position was, but I know it was under Tribal Organization. So they
sent him down and I did not know he was coming. Nobody knew he was coming
because that was how the government kept information between the Indian people.
I saw him sitting under the big oak tree. We had a table there and he was sitting
there just writing and writing. I went over there because he was not Indian. So, I
said, "How are you doing? What are you doing here?" Then he happened to be Rex
Quinn and he said he was sent down here to help Seminole people write the
constitution by-laws to organize the tribe. That is how I met Rex Quinn.
C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join?
-2-


O: My belief is that some of those people were in the traditional ways. They used to
say that people that lived on the reservation were already taken in by white people.
So, I think that might be one of the reasons. But at the same time, when they said
they were going to take the government supervision away from us, they all came and
participated in it and said that they did not want that. They sent their representative
from there with us when we appeared in 1953. So I think it was their traditional
ways, thinking that they were going to stay that way forever. Seminole people knew
that progress was coming and we knew that from going to schools. So I think that
mostly their thought of why they did not organize with us was because they thought
people that live on the reservation were kind of what they call red on the outside and
white on the inside, like an apple.
C: Where you elected to an office in the new tribal government?
O: Yes. At that time this Indian lady had promised me she was going to have a baby
and told me that I could have it because she did not have ways to raise her. So I
relaxed again and then when everybody voted at the election and the tribe organized
after our first election, they had a meeting. I remember my baby had been born and
I was taking care of it, and they came over and asked me if I wanted to be secretary
and treasurer.
C: How did the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] agent influence the tribal government?
I think they are talking about Mr. Mormon.
O: To organize?
C: Yes, how did he influence? We know that Rex Quinn helped write it, but what did
Mr. Mormon do to help?
O: We did not get along too good with Mr. Mormon. Like I said, he had moved the
office to Fort Myers and then moved it back like he was getting [ready] for
retirement. So he did not do too much. The reason why I say that is we used to
request him for organization and he would say he would report it to Muskogee and
see what happens. I guess maybe there are letters in the file under the agency that
say that he did help us. I do not know. But I know one time when we knew he was
going to Muskogee for a meeting, we sold used clothes and I spoke before Friends
of the Seminole to get some funds, and we sold hot dogs and had boxed dinners and
we raised the money. Frank Billy had just gotten a 1955 Ford and he loaned that to
us, and Joe Bowers, Jimmy O'Toole, [Bill?] Osceola, Juanita Billy and I drove to
Muskogee. We slept in the fleabag hotel to keep the cost down and ate bologna
sandwiches and all of that. We got there and met Mr. Mormon. He was surprised
to see us in Muskogee. I think we made noise there. I really do not know how he
helped the Seminole tribe to get organized.
-3-


C: So it was mainly Rex Quinn after he came down?
0: Yes.
C: Where did tribal government get its money in early years? I think you mentioned
some of it already.
0: Yes. Well, like I said, when we went in 1953, I think the government paid our way
to go to that meeting. I guess it must have been through the agency. The reason
why I think government paid our way [is] because there was an organization named
Friends of the Seminole. They wrote letters to their congressmen and everything, so
the government had to let us use some of our money that was from the leases. The
state had some money, but we could not get a hold of it until after we organized.
So I think that is where we got our money in the beginning before the organization.
After we organized, we had some money released to us from Washington.
C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe?
0: We were all concerned about the total tribe.
C: How has the tribal government been most successful or least successful, in your
opinion?
0: My opinion is it is successful, but some of the services are lacking organization within
themselves. We do have housing and we do have health services, but like anything
else, we have to share it with other people [who are] not Indians, for the budget of
those organizations. I think we have a hard time, but the way that I look at it [is
that] we are successful in making money for the tribe, but we still need help from
training our people to be better qualified to handle those. I think that is a reason
why a lot of non-Indians are still working for us because we just have not got the
qualification for a lot of people.
C: This ends the first part called the tribal government, and I am going to go right into
the environmental adaptation which talks about how we learned to live with what we
have here. How long have you lived on this reservation?
0: I guess off and on [for] almost sixty years. I was born here. I will be sixty in
November, but a few years I lived off [the reservation] when my mother married
Morgan Smith, who lived west of Fort Pierce. Through it all, I used to come back
here and I guess I have lived here all of my life.
C: You have lived here off an on for almost sixty years?
0: Yes.
4-


C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years with regard to water
levels and quality?
0: I guess it has worsened. We still get a lot when it rains. It kind of gets flooded here.
C: Do you think the water is more polluted?
0: Yes, it is. Sometimes I am afraid to drink it.
C: What about forest cover?
0: When we built houses, we had to cut trees down, so we do not have as many trees
on the reservation as we used to.
C: What about animal life?
0: The animal life is gone, too. Especially the birds.
C: What about fish and turtles? I guess here there is not much water, but they are
talking about in a little canal or something.
0: There used to be a little canal next to U.S. 441, and that is where we did our
washing. There used to be turtles. We would find [a] turtle going across the
reservation and we used to get it and eat it. My uncles were hunters, so we used to
take them west of Delray into the woods where it is all housing now, and we used
to leave them over there. They would go hunting west of West Palm Beach and
would bring back alligator skins and turtles. We lived off the food of the land.
C: What about edible and medicine plants?
0: There used to be a lot here, but there is not anymore. As a matter of fact, I have
one plant back there. I found it somewhere and planted it.
C: You found it yourself?
0: Yes.
C: How did you make a living over the years? Hunting and trapping?
0: No.
C: Your uncles did, but not you.
0: Yes. Well, yes I did. I hunted frogs with my brother.
-5-


C: In this area?
O: No, that was in Brighton.
C: What about cattle herding? Have you ever been involved in cattle herding?
O: Yes, my stepfather had knowledge about cattle. We lived out of Fort Pierce and the
government hired him or something.
C: That is Morgan Smith?
O: Yes. We moved to Brighton reservation for him to help with the cattle program.
After that, he went to Big Cypress and started the cattle program there because none
of them knew about the cattle business there. So I have been on all three
reservations.
C: And you helped out with cattle herding?
O: Yes. I have a cattle herd up in Big Cypress reservation now. I have had them since
[the] early 1950s.
C: What about timber cutting?
O: No, never have.
C: What about agricultural labor?
O: Yes. When I lived west of Fort Pierce, there used to be a big company, S&M Farms.
I used to pick beans there.
C: Have you ever been employed by BIA or Seminole tribe?
O: I was employed by Seminole tribe from 1957 to 1967.
C: Did you work for BIA for a while? I think you went to Washington.
O: Yes, I went to Washington for about a year and a half.
C: Any other work you have done, or is that it?
O: Yes, that is the long employment I have had. I have done odd jobs and worked for
the church.
C: Have you ever done arts and crafts or anything like that?
-6-


O: Yes, I have done that.
C: So that helps make a living too?
O: Yes.
C: Did you ever live in a chikee?
O: Yes.
C: Did you learn how to build one?
O: Yes. I built one when I was like fourteen years old and it moved from side to side
wherever the wind was coming from.
C: When and why did you quit living in one?
O: Well, like I was talking to you in the beginning, in 1949 I got married and was going
to have a baby in 1950. So I started living in a one-room house because I did not
want my baby to be eaten by mosquitos or gnats and all of that. That is when I
started living in a house.
C: Did your family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or
fishing?
O: Yes, hunting.
C: What about raising hogs or cattle?
O: Yes, my stepfather raised hogs and cattle.
C: What about gathering coontie, berries, and things like that?
O: Yes, my grandmother did that when we lived in a village over here.
C: In this area?
O: Yes.
C: What about raising crops like beans, corn and pumpkin in a garden?
O: Yes, they had a garden.
C: Anything else you did to bring food besides buying it in the store?
-7-


I
0: We had gardens and then we ate the fruit that is growing around here.
C: How did your family travel about the reservation here in Hollywood, or to town?
0: We used to walk. We walked a lot.
C: What about horseback?
0: No. Well, we had horses when I lived west of Fort Pierce, and we had a little truck.
C: What about by canoe?
0: Yes, my uncles had canoes that we rode in.
C: So over here when you went to Fort Lauderdale and places like that?
0: Yes.
C: What about cars or trucks at that time?
0: At that time?
C: Yes, when you were growing up, I guess.
0: The only car that I ever saw was those old cars. Betty Mae Jumper's mother had it
and we used to ride with her.
C: How were the roads? Were they pretty good?
0: No, there was just little roads that were one lane for two cars.
C: Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land
like you used to? Should we teach them that?
0: Yes.
C: What about passing on cultural traditions and values?
0: Yes. We are losing that and I hate to see it.
C: What about maintaining discipline among the young?
0: Yes. I will just give you my version of it. In the old days, the father just brought the
food, and it was the uncle in that camp that did discipline. The father did not have
-8-


anything to do with it. So when the Oklahoma Indians brought the church down
here, they encouraged the parents to take care of the children, and the father did not
know how to take care of them. So that is when it started breaking down as I
observed it. I wish that some way we [could] either go back to the old one or we
encourage them to do what the church expects of them.
C: But the family is important in all of these?
O: Yes, it is very important.
C: What is the biggest environmental problem on the reservation: solid waste disposal,
drainage, or sanitation?
O: I think it is all three of them. In the old days, we lived outside and we ate and just
threw our food to the ground and the animals ate it and took care of our trash. But
now, it comes in plastics and all of that, so to this day I still see some homes that still
throw it out because they are so used to it. So I think it is the trash that hangs
around. We lived in the woods so long that we do not know how to cut our grass
because that was part of the earth. This is what I see in there.
C: So the training of the people?
O: Yes.
C: Who do you think should take care of these problems?
0: Everybody.
C: Not just tribal government?
0: All three of them: a person, the tribe and the government.
C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth, and what
is that?
O: It is better to live on the reservation because now a lot of people that did not want
to live on it are filling it up now. Plus, we are in the middle of a city and at least we
have our own policemen. We do have some people breaking in across our
reservation line and dumping trash, and we have things like that coming at us from
the outside, but I can sleep better living on the reservation. I think the safest place
is living on the reservation, especially in South Florida.
C: I want to thank you for all of your responses to the questions.
-9-


Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Laura Mae Osceola Interviewer: Billy Cypress June 24, 1992

PAGE 2

C: We are here with Laura Mae Osceola. This is Billy Cypress. We are at Laura Mae Osceola's house on the Hollywood reservation. Today is June 24, 1992. We are going to do a Seminole survey with Laura Mae this morning. These questions relate to the informant's recollection about the early years of Seminole tribal organization and government between 1957 and 1970. Laura speaks Miccosukee, but we are going to go ahead and speak in English so that the typist can understand it better so they can type. Where did you live in 1957? 0: I lived on what was known as Big City, but after we organized we changed it to Hollywood, Florida. C: Why did you favor or oppose tribal organization? 0: I favored the tribal organization. Going way back in 1953, there was a law in Washington that they were going to abolish government supervision over Menomini Indians. We were the second tribe that was going to have government supervision taken away. During that time we did not have anything. We did not have houses. We just wandered around off and on the reservation. So we gathered [together] all of the Indian people on the reservation. We had the big meeting under that tree. Some people did not want the government to quit until they had built everything up. We only had a cattle program, I think, at that time, and we knew the boundaries of the reservations on all three reservations. We did not have anybody who was educated at that time. Well, we could count on our fingers how many were with a high school [degree]. When we wanted something, they had moved the agency from Hollywood to Fort Myers. We had to go all the way up there to get help for the Indian people when we needed something. We did not have any money. The group selected the people to go and fight this tak[ing] supervision away from the government on all three reservations. I think the trail people met with us because they were considered Seminoles at that time. They were also using some of the hospitalization that was here on the reservation. So we had a meeting and they selected us to represent and talk since we did not want supervision to be taken away from us until we had all of this built up, until we had some more young people educated to be able to take care of the tribal government. Then we came to find out that we did not have any money, you know. We [heard] a rumor there that we had some money in Tallahassee that we could use for those trips. Being the Indian people, they never hardly had any Indian women [representatives]. The Indian women had their place and stayed behind. But I was surprised because I guess I could speak English, and that is why [I was selected]. [Of] all of the men from Miccosukee that were selected and Big Cypress and Brighton and Hollywood, I was the only woman that was selected to go with them to go talk to the government. There is a committee report filed in the public 1

PAGE 3

hearings up in Washington. If you can find that information that would be good for you, when we all went before 1957. That was the reason why I wanted organization, so we would be able to fight and handle our own business and help people to get better organized. I had been away to school, so I realized that you can live in the woods plus you can live better in a house [away] from diseases and stuff like that. All of these things. I guess I was nineteen, twenty years old when I started thinking about having better things for the Seminole people. C: So, those are reasons you favored the tribal organization. 0: Yes. C: Why were you chosen for the constitutional committee? 0: I was not chosen, but I had done all the work before--interpreting for the elders and standing before the committee in Washington, D.C., and I had traveled with them on all three reservations to tell people about what was happening. I was like a town crier. Whatever news I heard, I went around and told people about it. They went on a committee, but after the committee had set up I felt good because I felt like I worked hard to get to a point where they were going to write constitution by-laws. I had a family, my kids were small, and I could not find a baby sitter or anything because I was kind of feeling relaxed at that time. But then, after Rex Quinn came down and helped us write those by-laws, they got me into it again and I had to go to all three reservations to interpret word by word the constitution by-laws. C: Laura, how did Mr. Quinn help with organization? 0: We had been requesting the Muskogee office because we were under [the] Muskogee office. So one time we requested the office and I guess it finally got to the Washington office. I think Mr. Quinn was working as head or director. I do not know what his position was, but I know it was under Tribal Organization. So they sent him down and I did not know he was coming. Nobody knew he was coming because that was how the government kept information between the Indian people. I saw him sitting under the big oak tree. We had a table there and he was sitting there just writing and writing. I went over there because he was not Indian. So, I said, "How are you doing? What are you doing here?" Then he happened to be Rex Quinn and he said he was sent down here to help Seminole people write the constitution by-laws to organize the tribe. That is how I met Rex Quinn. C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join? 2

PAGE 4

0: My belief is that some of those people were in the traditional ways. They used to say that people that lived on the reservation were already taken in by white people. So, I think that might be one of the reasons. But at the same time, when they said they were going to take the government supervision away from us, they all came and participated in it and said that they did not want that. They sent their representative from there with us when we appeared in 1953. So I think it was their traditional ways, thinking that they were going to stay that way forever. Seminole people knew that progress was coming and we knew that from going to schools. So I think that mostly their thought of why they did not organize with us was because they thought people that live on the reservation were kind of what they call red on the outside and white on the inside, like an apple. C: Where you elected to an office in the new tribal government? 0: Yes. At that time this Indian lady had promised me she was going to have a baby and told me that I could have it because she did not have ways to raise her. So I relaxed again and then when everybody voted at the election and the tribe organized after our first election, they had a meeting. I remember my baby had been born and I was taking care of it, and they came over and asked me if I wanted to be secretary and treasurer. C: How did the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] agent influence the tribal government? I think they are talking about Mr. Mormon. 0: To organize? C: Yes, how did he influence? We know that Rex Quinn helped write it, but what did Mr. Mormon do to help? 0: We did not get along too good with Mr. Mormon. Like I said, he had moved the office to Fort Myers and then moved it back like he was getting [ready] for retirement. So he did not do too much. The reason why I say that is we used to request him for organization and he would say he would report it to Muskogee and see what happens. I guess maybe there are letters in the file under the agency that say that he did help us. I do not know. But I know one time when we knew he was going to Muskogee for a meeting, we sold used clothes and I spoke before Friends of the Seminole to get some funds, and we sold hot dogs and had boxed dinners and we raised the money. Frank Billy had just gotten a 1955 Ford and he loaned that to us, and Joe Bowers, Jimmy O'Toole, [Bill?] Osceola, Juanita Billy and I drove to Muskogee. We slept in the fleabag hotel to keep the cost down and ate bologna sandwiches and all of that. We got there and met Mr. Mormon. He was surprised to see us in Muskogee. I think we made noise there. I really do not know how he helped the Seminole tribe to get organized. 3

PAGE 5

C: So it was mainly Rex Quinn after he came down? 0: Yes. C: Where did tribal government get its money in early years? I think you mentioned some of it already. 0: Yes. Well, like I said, when we went in 1953, I think the government paid our way to go to that meeting. I guess it must have been through the agency. The reason why I think government paid our way [is] because there was an organization named Friends of the Seminole. They wrote letters to their congressmen and everything, so the government had to let us use some of our money that was from the leases. The state had some money, but we could not get a hold of it until after we organized. So I think that is where we got our money in the beginning before the organization. After we organized, we had some money released to us from Washington. C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe? 0: We were all concerned about the total tribe. C: How has the tribal government been most successful or least successful, in your opinion? 0: My opinion is it is successful, but some of the services are lacking organization within themselves. We do have housing and we do have health services, but like anything else, we have to share it with other people [who are] not Indians, for the budget of those organizations. I think we have a hard time, but the way that I look at it [is that] we are successful in making money for the tribe, but we still need help from training our people to be better qualified to handle those. I think that is a reason why a lot of non-Indians are still working for us because we just have not got the qualification for a lot of people. C: This ends the first part called the tribal government, and I am going to go right into the environmental adaptation which talks about how we learned to live with what we have here. How long have you lived on this reservation? 0: I guess off and on [for] almost sixty years. I was born here. I will be sixty in November, but a few years I lived off [the reservation] when my mother married Morgan Smith, who lived west of Fort Pierce. Through it all, I used to come back here and I guess I have lived here all of my life. C: You have lived here off an on for almost sixty years? 0: Yes. 4

PAGE 6

C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years with regard to water levels and quality? 0: I guess it has worsened. We still get a lot when it rains. It kind of gets flooded here. C: Do you think the water is more polluted? 0: Yes, it is. Sometimes I am afraid to drink it. C: What about forest cover? 0: When we built houses, we had to cut trees down, so we do not have as many trees on the reservation as we used to. C: What about animal life? 0: The animal life is gone, too. Especially the birds. C: What about fish and turtles? I guess here there is not much water, but they are talking about in a little canal or something. 0: There used to be a little canal next to U.S. 441, and that is where we did our washing. There used to be turtles. We would find [a] turtle going across the reservation and we used to get it and eat it. My uncles were hunters, so we used to take them west of Delray into the woods where it is all housing now, and we used to leave them over there. They would go hunting west of West Palm Beach and would bring back alligator skins and turtles. We lived off the food of the land. C: What about edible and medicine plants? 0: There used to be a lot here, but there is not anymore. As a matter of fact, I have one plant back there. I found it somewhere and planted it. C: You found it yourself? 0: Yes. C: How did you make a living over the years? Hunting and trapping? 0: No. C: Your uncles did, but not you. 0: Yes. Well, yes I did. I hunted frogs with my brother. 5

PAGE 7

C: In this area? 0: No, that was in Brighton. C: What about cattle herding? Have you ever been involved in cattle herding? 0: Yes, my stepfather had knowledge about cattle. We lived out of Fort Pierce and the government hired him or something. C: That is Morgan Smith? 0: Yes. We moved to Brighton reservation for him to help with the cattle program. After that, he went to Big Cypress and started the cattle program there because none of them knew about the cattle business there. So I have been on all three reservations. C: And you helped out with cattle herding? 0: Yes. I have a cattle herd up in Big Cypress reservation now. I have had them since [the] early 1950s. C: What about timber cutting? 0: No, never have. C: What about agricultural labor? 0: Yes. When I lived west of Fort Pierce, there used to be a big company, S&M Farms. I used to pick beans there. C: Have you ever been employed by BIA or Seminole tribe? 0: I was employed by Seminole tribe from 1957 to 1967. C: Did you work for BIA for a while? I think you went to Washington. 0: Y es 1 I went to Washington for about a year and a half. C: Any other work you have done, or is that it? 0: Yes, that is the long employment I have had. I have done odd jobs and worked for the church. C: Have you ever done arts and crafts or anything like that? 6

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0: Yes, I have done that. C: So that helps make a living too? 0: Yes. C: Did you ever live in a chikee? 0: Yes. C: Did you learn how to build one? 0: Yes. I built one when I was like fourteen years old and it moved from side to side wherever the wind was coming from. C: When and why did you quit living in one? 0: Well, like I was talking to you in the beginning, in 1949 I got married and was going to have a baby in 1950. So I started living in a one-room house because I did not want my baby to be eaten by mosquitos or gnats and all of that. That is when I started living in a house. C: Did your family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or fishing? 0: Yes, hunting. C: What about raising hogs or cattle? 0: Yes, my stepfather raised hogs and cattle. C: What about gathering coontie, berries, and things like that? 0: Yes, my grandmother did that when we lived in a village over here. C: In this area? 0: Yes. C: What about raising crops like beans, com and pumpkin in a garden? 0: Yes, they had a garden. C: Anything else you did to bring food besides buying it in the store? 7

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0: We had gardens and then we ate the fruit that is growing around here. C: How did your family travel about the reservation here in Hollywood, or to town? 0: We used to walk. We walked a lot. C: What about horseback? 0: No. Well, we had horses when I lived west of Fort Pierce, and we had a little truck. C: What about by canoe? 0: Yes, my uncles had canoes that we rode in. C: So over here when you went to Fort Lauderdale and places like that? 0: Yes. C: What about cars or trucks at that time? 0: At that time? C: Yes, when you were growing up, I guess. 0: The only car that I ever saw was those old cars. Betty Mae Jumper's mother had it and we used to ride with her. C: How were the roads? Were they pretty good? 0: No, there was just little roads that were one lane for two cars. C: Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land like you used to? Should we teach them that? 0: Yes. C: What about passing on cultural traditions and values? 0: Yes. We are losing that and I hate to see it. C: What about maintaining discipline among the young? 0: Yes. I will just give you my version of it. In the old days, the father just brought the food, and it was the uncle in that camp that did discipline. The father did not have 8

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anything to do with it. So when the Oklahoma Indians brought the church down here, they encouraged the parents to take care of the children, and the father did not know how to take care of them. So that is when it started breaking down as I observed it. I wish that some way we [could] either go back to the old one or we encourage them to do what the church expects of them. C: But the family is important in all of these? 0: Yes, it is very important. C: What is the biggest environmental problem on the reservation: solid waste disposal, drainage, or sanitation? 0: I think it is all three •of them. In the old days, we lived outside and we ate and just threw our food to the ground and the animals ate it and took care of our trash. But now, it comes in plastics and all of that, so to this day I still see some homes that still throw it out because they are so used to it. So I think it is the trash that hangs around. We lived in the woods so long that we do not know how to cut our grass because that was part of the earth. This is what I see in there. C: So the training of the people? 0: Yes. C: Who do you think should take care of these problems? 0: Everybody. C: Not just tribal government? 0: All three of them: a person, the tribe and the government. C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth, and what is that? 0: It is better to live on the reservation because now a lot of people that did not want to live on it are filling it up now. Plus, we are in the middle of a city and at least we have our own policemen. We do have some people breaking in across our reservation line and dumping trash, and we have things like that coming at us from the outside, but I can sleep better living on the reservation. I think the safest place is living on the reservation, especially in South Florida. C: I want to thank you for all of your responses to the questions. 9