Our many years of work with the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation of Florida has culminated in a unique intersection of human rights and environmental protection. Several years ago, the traditional Seminoles were forced off of their ceremonial grounds because of agriculture development. The Center made a commitment to help this unique traditional community maintain their culture and their ceremonies, and at the same time protect a large area of wild lands in south Florida.
The Center, with the generous support of Lannan Foundation, purchased 2,500 acres of wild, undeveloped land for the benefit of the Nation. Because traditional Seminole spiritual laws do not allow ownership of land, we helped them to create Red Bay Stronghold Foundation to hold title on their behalf. We helped the Seminoles to create a unique cultural management plan and lease agreement. Once the framework was in place, the Center transferred the land to Red Bay Stronghold Foundation. The traditional Seminoles will protect the land in its natural state and will be able to maintain their cultural practices. The project will be a permanent, lasting benefit to the environment and to the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation.