In March 1935, some two years following his appointment as commissioner of Indian Affairs by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Collier paid his first official visit to the Seminole Tribe in Florida. Although recognized as one of the nation’s leading Indian Rights advocates throughout the 1920s Collier’s work had been focused almost exclusively among the western tribes. As secretary of the American Indian Defense Association, he frequently appeared before various congressional committees, testifying on such issues as tribal water and mineral rights, control of reservation lands, and Indian religious freedom. His name had become synonymous with a progressive commitment to the advancement of native peoples, so it was only appropriate that Roosevelt would tap the charismatic Collier to create a New Deal for American Indians.
Kersey, Jr., Harry A.
""New Red Atlantis": John Collier's Encounter With the Florida Seminoles in 1935,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 66
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol66/iss2/3