WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Carlos Giménez and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26) introduced legislation to incorporate the Osceola Camp into Miccosukee Reserved Area (MRA). Incorporating the Osceola Camp into the MRA would improve the Tribe’s ability to govern and facilitate the raising of the camp to optimize water flows to the Everglades National Park without affecting residences at Osceola Camp. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. The legislation is endorsed by Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress.
“As the U.S. Representative for the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, I have witnessed the Tribe’s commitment to being an exceptional steward of the Everglades, while also being a dynamic community partner creating jobs and opportunities for the people of South Florida,” said Congressman Carlos Giménez . “I look forward to continuing working together with Senator Marco Rubio and the Tribe to preserve our beautiful River of Grass and incorporate the Osceola Camp into the Miccosukee Reserved Area.”
“I am proud to join my Florida colleagues in introducing this critical legislation for the inclusion of the Osceola Camp into the Miccosukee Reserved Area within the Everglades National Park,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. “This bill supports the longstanding residence of Miccosukee tribe members and enhances their self-governance within the community, while optimizing water flows to the Everglades National Park. I look forward to working together with my colleagues to continue the preservation of this unique ecosystem and sacred land.”
“The Everglades is a national treasure and we must do everything we can to restore it. Recognizing the Osceola Camp would be a critical step forward in the restoration process, and would make a meaningful difference to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida” said Senator Marco Rubio. “I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation.”
“I am proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues to protect the Miccosukee Tribe’s Osceola Camp that has been a home and site of cultural significance for generations of Tribal members,” said Senator Rick Scott. “I deeply appreciate the partnership I have had with the Miccosukee Tribe as Florida Governor, and will continue to support their interests as U.S. Senator.”
“The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida thanks Senator Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, and Congressman Gimenez for their unwavering support of the Miccosukee Reserve Area Act Amendment,” said Miccosukee Tribe Chairman Talbert Cypress. “This Amendment will serve to protect the traditional site of the “Osceola Camp” and the families that live within. The Osceola Camp is my father’s home, my aunt’s home, my family’s home and has been central to Miccosukee cultural and seasonal gatherings. We will be able to host Miccosukee tribal members for many years to come with this Amendment and ensure a permanent home for our traditional way of life. Everglades restoration is reaching its zenith and this Act allows us to raise the camp above expected water levels and prevent flooding of traditional chickee sites. The Tribe’s efforts will be bolstered by our partnership with Everglades National Park and its current Superintendent, Pedro Ramos. This Amendment is emblematic of how partnerships can evolve for the better and demonstrates the leadership of our Florida Members on behalf of the Tribe to help preserve our culture and traditions. We look forward to the passage of this important Amendment and to our continued partnership with Senator Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Congressman Gimenez, and the National Park Service.”
Congressman Carlos A. Giménez represents Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Giménez serves on Armed Services, Homeland Security, and the new Select Committee on China. He previously served as Mayor of Miami-Dade County and is currently the only Cuban-born Member of the United States Congress.