Indians of North America Series: The Seminole. Edited film documents the history of the Seminole American Indians since the arrival of European settlers in Florida. Emphasis is placed on the creation of the Seminoles out of fragments of other tribes, the impact of expansionism and conflict with the U.S. government over land rights. Film addresses the war between the Seminoles and the U.S. government led by Florida governor and future president, Andrew Jackson, resulting in accession of Seminole land in Florida and the migration of many Seminoles to Oklahoma. Also explored are the influence of numerous government policies, treaties and laws involving the Seminole such as the 1887 Dawes Act, allotting land to individuals rather than to the tribe; the Indian Removal Act, forcing relocation of the Indian tribes westward, and educational policies such as forbidding Seminole school children to speak their tribal language. Other events impacting the Seminoles include the Civil War during which both sides rallied for Seminole support, the discovery of oil on Seminole territory in the 1920's, Indian recruitment during World War II, the establishment of Indian reservations. Footage sequences include: artist creating a sculpture; "chickees," Seminole houses with thatched roofs; the Green Corn Ceremony, where participants ingest herbal medicine to reinforce their bond with nature; black and white footage displaying cotton patchwork clothing designs for which the Seminoles are famous. interviews with elders and youths.
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD