Florida Native American Heritage Month

Dade Battlefield - by Bonnie Gearheart

November is National Native American Heritage Month.  Florida's Secretary of State and Chief Cultural Officer, Ken Detzner encourages citizens to learn about Florida’s rich Native American heritage and honor the Native American presence in the state during this time.

There are many aspects of Florida’s dynamic Native American communities of the past and present that people can experience. November is an ideal time to explore this heritage at parks, museums and living heritage sites statewide.

Join the Florida Department of State and the national conversation by sharing Florida’s Native American legacy on social media using #NAHM.

Read the official press release online here or dowload the PDF Native_American_2014.pdf 49.52 kB


Sites to Visit in Florida During Native American Heritage Month

There are many sites throughout Florida that share the history of Native Americans in the state, dating back over 12,000 years.  There are also many places where visitors can experience the traditions and heritage of Native Americans today. A few featured sites are listed below and many more can be found on VivaFlorida.org/Explore.


Fort_Walton_Temple_Mound

City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center

Fort Walton Beach - Okaloosa County

Located in Fort Walton Beach, the Indian Temple Mound Museum at the Heritage Park and Cultural Center is next to the National Historic Landmark Temple mound. Museum exhibits reflect the spiritual, technological and artistic achievements of the Native American people from 12,000 years ago though Spanish contact in the early 1500s. For more information visit Fwb.org/museum.


Letchworth-Love Mounds State Park

Lloyd - Jefferson County

Located in Lloyd near Monticello in Jefferson County, this site includes Florida’s tallest recorded Native American ceremonial mound. There is a self-guided interpretive trail and a boardwalk where visitors can walk around the impressive 46 foot tall main mound. Honor Native American Veterans and visit this park for free on November 11, when all Florida State Parks waive fees for Veterans Day. For more information visit: FloridaStateParks.org/Letchworth


Mission San Luis Council House

Mission San Luis

Tallahassee - Leon County

Located in Tallahassee, this living history site recreates life on the colonial Spanish frontier in 1703.  On the site of the largest and most populated mission site in northwest Florida, Mission San Luis was once home to more than 1500 Apalachee Indians and Spanish missionaries. For more information visit MissionSanLuis.org.


Museum of Florida History-Statues

Museum of Florida History at the R.A. Gray Building

Tallahassee - Leon County

Visit Florida’s official state history museum featuring exhibits of Florida’s prehistoric peoples from 12,000 years ago through to the modern era. Located at the R.A. Gray Building in Tallahassee, where additional exhibits are on display in the lobby, including artifacts discovered at Letchworth-Love Mounds in Jefferson County and a dugout canoe from Lake Munson. During your visit check out the iconic Indian Heritage Tableau bronze statuary, as well as the WWII monument at the front of the building. For more information visit MuseumofFloridaHistory.com.


Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos

St. Augustine - St. Johns County

Standing in St. Augustine for nearly 450 years, this national monument tells the important story of the many uses of the Castillo through the years, including as a prison for Seminole leader, Osceola, in 1837 and Apache warriors, including Geronimo, in the late 1880s. For more information visit Nps.gov/casa.


Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Micanopy - Alachua County

Located near Gainesville, this state park is rich in Native American history. Nature trails through the park provide views of this environmentally and historically significant area.  The visitor center also features exhibits on the area’s rich past.  Honor Native American Veterans and visit this park for free on November 11, when all Florida State Parks waive fees for Veterans Day. For more information visit FloridaStateParks.org/PaynesPrairie.


Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science

Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science

Cocoa - Brevard County

Central Florida: This museum in Cocoa features an exhibit on the National Historic Landmark site of Windover Pond, a nationally significant site in Brevard County that dates to over 7,000 years ago. For more information visit BrevardMuseum.com.


Weedon-Island CulturalCenter

Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center

St. Petersburg - Pinellas County

Central Florida: This 3,700 acre nature preserve situated on Old Tampa Bay was home to Native Americans for thousands of years.  This site gave its name to the Weeden Island Culture, whose distinctive ornate pottery was first recorded on Weedon Island.  For more information visit WeedonIslandPreserve.org.


AhThaThiKi

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Clewiston - Hendry County

South Florida: This is the official museum of The Seminole Tribe of Florida and is located on the Big Cypress Reservation in Clewiston. Indoor exhibits depict the lives of the Seminoles in the late 1800s, and a nine-mile boardwalk outside takes visitors into the cypress swamp. For more information visit AhTahThiKi.com.