County and Native American tribal leaders gathered Monday at Treaty Park in St. Augustine to mark 200 years since the signing of the Treaty of Moultrie Creek.
The treaty, which was signed in 1823, resulted in the cession of a large swath of tribal lands in Florida and established the state’s first reservation for the Seminole Indians.
Leaders from four Native American Nations affected by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek came together at the site for the first time in two centuries to mark the anniversary with a flag-raising ceremony.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida offered remarks and raised their respective nations’ flags over Treaty Park in St. Augustine.
“If you look around and see how beautiful this place is, you go around to Georgia, Alabama, all the states of our original homeland, we always get the question, ‘I can’t believe you all left. Why did you all leave this beautiful place?’” said David Whill, Principal Chief of Muskogee Creek Nation. “Well, we weren’t asked to leave. We were forcibly removed. … This is our story.”