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Indigenous Relationships with the Everglades: Historical, Cultural and Scientific Perspectives  


6 hours of Professional Development (In application process)
4 hours Face to Face, 2 post assignment

Facilitated by Houston Cypress and Tribal Elders

Indigenous Relationships with the Everglades
This workshop explores historical, cultural, and scientific perspectives on sustainability and preservation and offers insight into the worlds of the Miccosukee, Seminole & Independent Miccosukee Simanolee indigenous communities who, for over two centuries, have made South Florida’s Everglades their home.  We will explore the River of Grass/Water Conservation Area 3A, learn about their cultural and environmental worldviews, and discover how these communities have learned to live sustainably in the mosaic of wetlands and forests they call home.  We will learn how the Miccosukee have become major players in Everglades Restoration, and how they offer an alternative viewpoint regarding the management of our protected lands and water conservation areas.   Earth Literacy and environmental sustainability will offer a lens through which we may view these enduring people, their folkways and rich culture. 

Upon successful completion of this workshop, participants will:

         Explain the historical significance of the Miccosukee, and Seminole, and Original Miccosukee Simanolee  people

         Describe their worldviews and the impact of these on Everglades restoration

         Contrast the Miccosukee’s view of Everglades land management with that of the federal government

         Demonstrate an understanding of how development of South Florida and the Everglades has impacted   

          Miccosukee culture

         Describe how the Miccosukee have integrated environmentally sustainable practices, the scientific method, and  

           traditional environmental knowledge into their contemporary way of life

         Create a discipline-appropriate lesson plan incorporating an exploration of indigenous views

Evaluation will include completion of workshop and participant must develop a discipline specific lesson plan or course module that incorporates key concepts of sustainability and/or importance of healthy ecosystems in support of human prosperity and survival. Lesson plan is due to the director of Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the workshop, and will be posted on the Earth Ethics webpage.

Houston Cypress
Houston Cypress belongs to the Otter Clan and is a member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.
Cypress grew up in the Everglades of South Florida speaking Miccosukee as his primary language. Later, in school, he learned to speak the English and Spanish languages. He is interested in articulating the Living Narrative of the Society of Clans and their significance in a global context. Executive Producer, director, and writer at Miccosukee Magazine, Cypress  is exploring the use of a variety of grammars and syntaxes and media to do so – including wood, poetry, chant, cinema, touch, textiles, etc.


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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724