The indigenous people who called America home before Europeans settled on the land still have a presence here. They built Florida’s first civilizations; were Florida’s first farmers, ranchers and hunters; and fiercely fought back against a government that wanted to take their land. Cities and landmarks throughout the state are named for some of these figures.

Florida’s Native American heritage helped shape future generations, and Native American history comes alive in a number of places throughout the state, including tri-county places that were the sites of Seminole Tribe victories against U.S. soldiers during the Second Seminole War.

Native Americans of today play a part in society, while also striving to educate the public on their history and culture, which tribes sometimes refer to as “the old ways.” They want to pass their history on to others so it will not be forgotten.

“For us, it’s our main reason why we do it,” said Quenton Cypress, a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “We don’t do it for the purpose of the attention of outsiders. We do it for the children.” They try to push back against misconceptions and negative stereotypes that pervade Western culture.