Miami-Dade County Declares October 9th Miccosukee Day in Miami-Dade County

By Claire VanSusteren

Miami-Dade, FL – Today, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a historic resolution that designates October 9, 2023, as Miccosukee Day, and every second Monday of every October thereafter as Indigenous People’s Day. This momentous decision underscores the County’s commitment to honoring the rich cultural heritage of the Miccosukee Tribe and all Indigenous peoples and recognizing their many contributions to the County.

“This resolution represents a significant step forward in acknowledging and respecting the history, contributions, and enduring legacy of the Miccosukee Tribe and all Indigenous communities,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Overcoming hurdles from the past to foster a brighter future is how we create positive change in our community.”

“We are honored that the Miccosukee Tribe still calls Miami-Dade County their home, and are proud to honor them and all indigenous people in return,” shared Commission Chairman Oliver G. Gilbert, III. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as a platform for recognizing the unique history of Indigenous peoples and their long presence in our community. It’s an opportunity for us all to learn, grow, and unite.”

“This day marks a tremendous positive shift in the relationship between the Miccosukee Tribe and Miami-Dade County. Over the past two years as Chairman and six years as a Councilman I have made it a priority to enter the Tribe into collaborative partnerships.” expressed Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress. “This resolution inspires our children, empowers our members, and strengthens our notions of identity, and fosters understanding and acceptance with our neighbors in South Florida. Better still is the commitment by the County to identify every Second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This resolution empowers indigenous people from all corners of the World to be proud of their history and heritage, to share their stories and grow our collective knowledge, and to embrace Miami-Dade County—our home.”

The second Monday of October has been historically used to commemorate the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the first European explorers to the Caribbean in 1492. With this resolution, Miami-Dade County joins others that have chosen to use this day to honor indigenous people. The practice of celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October began in Berkeley, California in 1992 and has since been adopted in dozens of cities across the country. 

The Miccosukee Tribe began as an independent tribal town along the banks of Lake Miccosukee in Leon County, with a range extending north through the Appalachians and south through the Florida Keys. During the Seminole Wars of the 1800s, most of the Miccosukee were removed to the West, but a group eventually found refuge in the Everglades. Throughout the next century, Miccosukee Leaders like its first Chairman, Buffalo Tiger, welcomed immigrants from throughout the Caribbean to the region and went on to establish diplomatic ties with Miami-Dade County, the state of Florida, and eventually the Federal Government in 1962. 

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