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Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bill To Incorporate Osceola Camp Into Miccosukee Reserved Area

Sep 13, 2023 | Press Releases

The Osceola Camp in Everglades National Park is an area outside of the Miccosukee Reserved Area (MRA) which is the residence of many members of the Miccosukee Tribe and has been for decades. Incorporating the Osceola Camp into the MRA would improve the Tribe’s ability to govern the affairs of their community and facilitate the raising of the camp in order to optimize water flows to Everglades National Park without adversely affecting the residences at the Osceola Camp. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced legislation to incorporate the Osceola Camp into the Miccosukee Reserved Area. 

  • “The Everglades is a national treasure and we must do everything we can to restore it. Recognizing the Osceola Camp would be a critical step forward in the restoration process, and would make a meaningful difference to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation.”  – Senator Rubio
  • “I am proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues to protect the Miccosukee Tribe’s Osceola Camp that has been a home and site of cultural significance for generations of Tribal members. I deeply appreciate the partnership I have had with the Miccosukee Tribe as Florida Governor, and will continue to support their interests as U.S. Senator.” – Senator Scott

U.S. Representatives Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) and Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) will introduce companion legislation in the House.

  • “As the U.S. Representative for the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, I have witnessed the Tribe’s commitment to being an exceptional steward of the Everglades, while also being a dynamic community partner creating jobs and opportunities for the people of South Florida. I look forward to continuing working together with Senator Marco Rubio and the Tribe to preserve our beautiful River of Grass and incorporate the Osceola Camp into the Miccosukee Reserved Area (MRA).”  – Congressman Gimenez
  • “I am proud to join my Florida colleagues in introducing this critical legislation for the inclusion of the Osceola Camp into the Miccosukee Reserved Area within the Everglades National Park. This bill supports the longstanding residence of Miccosukee tribe members and enhances their self-governance within the community, while optimizing water flows to the Everglades National Park. I look forward to working together with my colleagues to continue the preservation of this unique ecosystem and sacred land.”  – Congressman Díaz-Balart

Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress endorsed the legislation. 

  • “The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida thanks Senator Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, and Congressman Gimenez for their unwavering support of the Miccosukee Reserve Area Act Amendment. This Amendment will serve to protect the traditional site of the “Osceola Camp” and the families that live within. The Osceola Camp is my father’s home, my aunt’s home, my family’s home and has been central to Miccosukee cultural and seasonal gatherings. We will be able to host Miccosukee tribal members for many years to come with this Amendment and ensure a permanent home for our traditional way of life.  Everglades restoration is reaching its zenith and this Act allows us to raise the camp above expected water levels and prevent flooding of traditional chickee sites. The Tribe’s efforts will be bolstered by our partnership with Everglades National Park and its current Superintendent, Pedro Ramos. This Amendment is emblematic of how partnerships can evolve for the better and demonstrates the leadership of our Florida Members on behalf of the Tribe to help preserve our culture and traditions. We look forward to the passage of this important Amendment and to our continued partnership with Senator Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Congressman Gimenez, and the National Park Service.” – Chairman Cypress