Published: December 3, 2023

A bill would lead to Florida recognizing three panhandle tribes

Florida would give state recognition to three Native American tribes in the Panhandle, under a bill filed Wednesday by Rep. Michelle Salzman, R-Pensacola.

The bill (HB 675), filed for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, would recognize the Santa Rosa Band of the Lower Muscogee, the Muscogee Nation of Florida and the Lower Chattahoochee Band of Yuchi Indians.

Florida law includes rules involving the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

The rules include gaming rights, special district powers, hunting, campsites, water rights and identification cards. Salzman’s proposal for the other tribes would include limits.

"State recognition of an Indian tribe or band under this (proposed) section (of law) may not be construed to create any basis or authority not otherwise provided by law for an Indian tribe or band to establish or promote any form of otherwise prohibited gaming activity or to claim any interest in land or real estate,” the proposal said.


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