Long before the Florida Seminoles received federal recognition as a tribe in 1957 under the Indian Reorganization Act, they had become engaged in the defense of inherent tribal rights. Two major legal cases— one involving compensation for Seminole lands taken prior to the Second Seminole War and the other having to do with Seminole water rights on the Florida reservations during this century— had their origins in the 1950s before tribal government was established and functioning.1 In both instances congressional action finally resolved the issue in favor of the Seminoles. The much heralded Land Claims Case deserves special attention because it had a profound impact on the long-range well-being of the Florida Indians, not only in the sense of bringing a monetary award, which the people had expected for nearly four decades, but also through its broader reaffirmation of Seminole tribal sovereignty.
Kersey, Jr., Harry A.
"The Florida Seminole Land Claims Case, 1950-1990,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 72:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol72/iss1/5