H. R. 2591
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 19, 2011
Mr. Miller of Florida introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To extend Federal recognition to the Muscogee Nation of Florida.
This Act may be cited as the
Muscogee Nation of Florida Federal
Congress finds that—
the Muscogee Nation of Florida is comprised of lineal descendants of persons who were historically part of the Creek Confederacy, which relocated from Daleville, Alabama, and other areas of southern Alabama to the State of Florida between 1812 and 1887;
those Creek persons settled in the north
Florida panhandle in autonomous communities (referred to in the constitution of
the Muscogee Nation as
Townships), continuing the lifestyle and
traditions practiced by the historic Creek Nation of Alabama and
on dissolution of the Creek Confederacy, the ancestors of current members of the Muscogee Nation of Florida relocated and reestablished home sites, traditions, ceremonial centers, tribal government (including through the traditional appointment of tribal leaders), and tribal economy in rural areas of the State of Florida;
the relocation described in subparagraph (A) did not prevent the Nation from—
continuing to exercise the governing powers of the Nation;
providing services to members of the Nation; or
enjoying the communal lifestyle of the Nation; and
some members of the Nation remain on original home sites of their Creek ancestors;
members of the Nation—
participated in the 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson and the Apalachicola Treaty of October 11, 1832; and
were included in the Abbott-Parsons Creek Census, dated 1832 and 1833;
members of the Nation have established an ancestral claim to land taken from the Nation by General Andrew Jackson in the aftermath of the War of 1812 pursuant to the 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson;
beginning in 1971, the Secretary of the Interior distributed to members of the Nation in 3 actions per capita payments for land claim settlements;
in 1974, the State of Florida established the Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council to manage issues relating to Creek Indians in northwest Florida; and
in 1978, the Council held an election for
representatives to the tribal government known as the
Florida Tribe of
Eastern Creek Indians, which is now the Muscogee Nation of
the community of Bruce in Walton County, Florida, has been a governing center for the Nation for more than 150 years;
in the community of Bruce, the Nation—
beginning in the early 1860s, used and maintained the Antioch Cemetery, which remains in use by members of the Nation as of the date of enactment of this Act;
between 1895 and 1947, maintained a school that was attended by members of the Nation;
in 1912, established a church that is recognized by the Methodist Conference as a Native American church; and
maintained a ceremonial area on Bruce Creek that was attended until the late 1920s;
the ceremonial area of the Nation, as in existence on the date of enactment of this Act—
is located in the community of Blountstown, Florida, 1 of the reservations referred to in the Apalachicola Treaty of October 11, 1832; and
is the site of continuing ceremonies, such as Green Corn, and traditional events;
local governments have recognized the community of Bruce as the center of tribal government of the Nation; and
during the 30-year period preceding the date of enactment of this Act, the Nation has received Federal, State, and local grants, and entered into contracts, to provide services and benefits to members of the Nation.
In this Act:
The term member means—
an individual who is an enrolled member of the Nation as of the date of enactment of this Act; and
an individual who has been placed on the membership rolls of the Nation in accordance with this Act.
The term Nation means the
Muscogee Nation of Florida (formerly known as the
Florida Tribe of
Eastern Creek Indians).
The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
The term Tribal Council means the governing body of the Nation.
Federal recognition is extended to the Nation.
Applicability of laws
All laws (including regulations) of the United States of general applicability to Indians or nations, Indian tribes, or bands of Indians (including the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 et seq.)) that are not inconsistent with this Act shall be applicable to the Nation and members.
Federal services and benefits
On and after the date of enactment of this Act, the Nation and members shall be eligible for all services and benefits provided by the Federal Government to federally recognized Indian tribes without regard to—
the existence of a reservation for the Nation; or
the location of the residence of any member on or near any Indian reservation.
For the purpose of the delivery of Federal services to members, the service area of the Nation shall be considered to be—
the community of Bruce in Walton County, Florida; and
an area in the State of Florida in which members reside that is bordered—
on the west by the Escambia River; and
on the east by the St. Marks River.
Constitution and bylaws
The constitution and bylaws of the Nation shall be the constitution and bylaws of the Tribal Council dated January 21, 2001 (including amendments), as submitted to the Secretary for approval on recognition.
New constitution and bylaws
On receipt of a written request of the Tribal Council, the Secretary shall hold a referendum for members for the purpose of adopting a new constitution and bylaws, in accordance with section 16 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 476).
The Tribal Council—
shall represent the Nation and members; and
enter into any contract, grant agreement, or other agreement with any Federal department or agency;
carry out or administer such programs as the Tribal Council determines to be appropriate to carry out the contracts and agreements; and
designate a successor in interest pursuant to a new constitution or bylaw of the Nation adopted under section 5(b).
The membership roll of the Nation shall be determined in accordance with the membership criteria established by the ordinance of the Nation numbered 04–01–100 and dated February 7, 2004.
Land in trust
The Secretary is authorized to take land in trust on behalf of the Muscogee Nation of Florida pursuant to part 151 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations.