Meanwhile, Seminoles also entered a period of RESERVATIONS AND ORGANIZATION as they organized into the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida. Many families also chose to move onto newly created federal reservations throughout South Florida.
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In 1938, the federal government, in an effort to assist Seminoles suffering from the Great Depression, created reservations at Big Cypress, Brighton, and Hollywood. In the following years, other reservations such as Tampa, Immokalee, and Fort Pierce would follow. Although not all would move onto the reservations, many did and today these sites continue to promote and preserve Seminole culture.
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In 1934, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act, which allowed Native American groups to organize politically, elect leaders, and create tribal constitutions. In 1957, several Seminoles created a constitution and established a tribal Council and a Board of Directors. That same year, the U.S. Congress recognized the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida. But not all Seminole peoples chose to join the tribe, and some formed the Miccosukkee Tribe of Florida in 1962. Still other opted out of either tribe and called themselves "independent" Seminoles.
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Billy Osceola was the first elected chairman of the Board of Directors for the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida.
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Jumper was the first female chairperson of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, first elected in 1967.
She was born in Indiantown in 1923 and attended the Cherokee Indian School in North Carolina. In 1949, she was also the first Seminole to earn a high school diploma. In later years, she became more known for her storytelling and writing.