FSU Offers New Course on Seminole and Southeastern Tribes

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Many refer to Chief Osceola as that bold mascot at FSU football games with a fiery spear in hand, but history records show Osceola as the leader of a band of Seminole Indians which held 40,000 U.S. Army troops at bay during the second Seminole War.

FSU history chair Neil Jumonville says this is something students should know.

"It's long overdue. We in the history department have only taught one Indian course in the past," said Jumonville.

This fall, the university will offer a new course entitled "History of the Seminoles and Southeastern Tribes."

"Their story cannot be told apart from the other Indians in the southeast and apart from American policy, so it is a more complex story than simply Osceola," added Jumonville.

Students on campus feel the course is a good wakeup call for those who display the Seminole name.

"It is a great opportunity for students to have a fruitful learning experience from the Seminole tribe," said FSU graduate student Nate Wiewora.

"The important thing here is the perspective from which this history is being taught. The Seminoles were human beings and it is important to keep in mind and that we respect their dignity," said FSU student Alexis Aquino.

Jumonville says one goal of the course is to incorporate one-on-one conversations between Florida Seminole tribe members and students during the semester.

Already, close to 30 students have taken interest and have enrolled in the course.