I went to the Miccosukee Festival down the road last week because I needed some pumpkin fry bread. The noon presentation in the amphitheater was getting started, so I sat down and listed to Lee Tiger give his version of tribal history, which I enjoyed very much. Lee is son of former Tribal Chairman Buffalo Tiger, and is a celebrity in his own right aside from his father.
One thing that Lee said that I think is very true, is that everyone comes from a Tribe, just that some people have forgotten their tribal roots. This is the reason why I do the living history along with hundreds of other people who I have met the past 27 years doing this. People like myself are reconnecting to a tribe. People who are concerned with the environment and strive towards slowing down and stopping the rampant destruction caused by development of our beautiful natural Florida have reconnected with tribal roots. But we are becoming a new tribe. Tribal identity is always moving around and changes over thousands of years, and continues to do so. It is just that my tribal identity is achieved from reaching into the past.
I believe that a lot that is wrong with the world is because people are no longer connected with their tribe or family, that has geographical roots. That is what has caused problems for the past 520 years here in North American, with people who have lost their way and their grounding where they are at, so they do not care for their local environment or the people there. If you have no roots or origin, then you have no grounding. There is no direction or sense of building a community around you, or preserving the natural surroundings for future generations.
In a world where you can be anywhere on the planet in a day, there is not much emphasis on having a tribal identity. There is a lot of pressure to abandon tribal practices. You can go anywhere and be anything. But I have found my own tribal identity, which is why I follow the ways of the land here in Florida. Most of my life I have lived in Florida, consider it my home, and have no other place. This is the place I have chosen to be, and why I have followed the local tribal practices and culture. I am a Florida native of the 21st century who looks into the past.