March 21, 2018: Made from the Sands of Florida – Egmont Key, Climate Change and the Seminole Tribe of Florida


From left, Quenton Cypress, Juan Cancel, Paul Backhouse, Bobby Henry, Shannon Purvis and Willie Johns stand near the spot on Egmont Key where Seminole Indians were imprisoned during the Third Seminole War.
Photo by Peter B. Gallagher. 

Presenter: Paul Backhouse, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Seminole Tribe of Florida
Location: IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers
Time: Program 7:00pm

The Seminole Tribe of Florida and south Florida are bound together in a union that defines the very being of one another. The Seminoles home in the low-lying Everglades is critically threatened by climate change. The off-shore island of Egmont Key in Tampa Bay, today a Florida State Park, has become the front line for the Tribe in a community effort to remember a difficult past that is today threatened with being washed away. It was on Egmont Key that Seminoles captured during the Third Seminole War were held before being forcibly relocated to Oklahoma, via New Orleans. Community engagement, archaeology and climate change collide on Egmont, an island that is central to the past and future of the Tribe.


Dr. Paul Backhouse received a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Bournemouth University, England in 2008. He has served the Seminole Tribe of Florida as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) since 2012 and simultaneously as the Director of the American Alliance of Museums accredited Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum since 2013. Dr. Backhouse is the primary representative for the Seminole Tribe of Florida THPO and Museum for the purposes of day to day operations and during government to government consultation between the Tribe and Federal entities, as laid out in the Seminole Tribe of Florida Cultural Resources Ordinance (C-02-14), section 101(d)(2) and section 101(b)(3) of the National Historic Preservation Act(16 U.S.C. 470), and the Tribal Historic Preservation Plan of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.