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Who we are
    During the removal of 1838, many American Indians had to hide to escape being sent to Oklahoma. Many tried to enter the population as mulatto, French and as black. Of these, many were taken in and helped by some of the white settlers and some were taken in and treated as slaves.

    Many from Alabama and Georgia fled to Florida to hide in the deep woods and swamps. Not all who came to Florida went to the peninsular. Some stayed in the panhandle with friends and relatives that would hide them, and some simply survived in the wilderness.

     As years passed, the white population did not fear the Indians as much and soon ignored them when they would see them. Some were lucky enough to find work and some lucky enough to gain a piece of property and farm. Soon, the whites began to intermarry again with the Indians as many had done before the removal.

     Most of Indian descent tried to hide that fact and would not teach their children the old ways. They had to "BE WHITE" in order, or so they thought, to keep from being sent to Oklahoma. This belief continues on even today with many of Indian descent.

    Many of us have learned of our heritage and we are trying to live as such. We practice the language and participate in many cultural activities. Some of us may have light hair and blue eyes, but we are Indian. We may not be 100% blood, but we all have proven our linage back to American Indians before the removal.

                                   "My son, you are now flesh
                                 of our flesh and bone of our bone.
                              By the ceremony performed this day,
                             every drop of white blood was washed
                                 from your veins; you were taken
                              into the Shawnee nation... you were
                                  adopted into a great family."
                                            Black Fish, Shawnee,
                                                   recalling 1778 adoption
                                                      of Daniel Boone into
                                                               the tribe