Miami-Dade County Celebrates Inaugural Miccosukee Day

Today’s event included a traditional invocation by Miccosukee Tribe Lawmaker Pete Osceola, Jr. and remarks from Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress.

MIAMI-DADE (October 09, 2023)

By Felicia Jimenez, Angel Christopher

(Thanks to Jennie Lopez, Natalia Jaramillo, Press Office Miami-Dade County)

Today, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, and local leaders gathered at the University of Miami for a celebration of the County’s first-ever Miccosukee Day to honor the rich cultural heritage of the Miccosukee Tribe and all Indigenous peoples and recognize their many contributions to the County. Last month, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a historic resolution, sponsored by Chairman Oliver Gilbert, that designates October 9, 2023, as Miccosukee Day, and every second Monday of every October thereafter as Indigenous Peoples Day. 

Video & Photos: Angel Christopher / South Press

“Celebrating Miccosukee Day in Miami-Dade County represents a significant step forward in honoring and respecting the contributions and enduring legacy of the Miccosukee Tribe across South Florida and the nation”, says Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “By commemorating this day, we are acknowledging the wrongs of our history, building bridges of understanding, and strengthening the bonds that tie us together”.  

Today’s event included a traditional invocation by Miccosukee Tribe Lawmaker Pete Osceola, Jr. and remarks from Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava was honored to present a copy of Miami-Dade County’s Miccosukee Day Resolution to the Tribe. Miccosukee Tribe Special Counsel on Environmental Affairs Edward Ornstein served as emcee. 

“This is a monumental day for the Miccosukee Tribe and all Indigenous communities,” says Talbert Cypress, Chairman of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. “Today’s ceremony and designation of Miccosukee Day underscore the County’s commitment to honoring the rich history and cultural heritage of our Tribe and recognizing our many ongoing contributions to Miami-Dade County. While I believe there is still much work to be done by both the Tribe and the County in the years ahead, today serves as a pivotal reminder of the power of collaborative partnerships, acceptance, and greater community. We value and appreciate the leadership of Mayor Levine Cava, Chairman Oliver Gilbert, and the entire Board of County Commissioners and look forward to strong collaborations moving forward. Happy Miccosukee Day.”

The second Monday of October has historically been recognized as Columbus Day. With this ceremony and resolution, Miami-Dade County joins the federal government and communities nationwide who have chosen to use this day to honor indigenous peoples.

“We take great pride in paying tribute to the Miccosukee Tribe and all the native communities in our area,” says Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Oliver Gilbert, III, who sponsored the county’s Miccosukee Day resolution. “Miccosukee Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day provide a platform for acknowledging the distinct historical heritage of indigenous peoples and their enduring presence within our local community. This day allows us all to gain knowledge, evolve, and unite in solidarity”.

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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