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Florida State University & the Relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

This guide will provide resources that speak to the evolving relationship between FSU and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

FSU & The Seminole Tribe of Florida

Florida State UniversitySeminole Tribe of Florida

In 1947, FSU students selected "Seminole" as their football team name from more than 100 names proposed. Other finalists include Crackers, Statesmen, Tarpons and Fighting Warriors. The University's use of the Seminoles as a symbol has gone through many iterations over the years; unfortunately some iterations included imagery during the 1950's - 1970's that was disrespectful to Native Americans. These are no longer acceptable or used.

Our continued evolution as an institution has allowed us to continue to grow our relationship with the Tribe, who supports our use of their likeness to represent FSU's community.

On June 17, 2005 the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida unanimously approved a resolution supporting FSU's continued use of the Seminole name and associated images. The resolution reads in part: "The Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida wishes to go on record that it has not opposed and, in fact, supports the continued use of the name 'Seminole' and any associated head logo as currently endorsed by Florida State University.

In addition, it states that the "Tribal Council further extends an invitation to Florida State University and its officials to continue their relationship and collaborate on the development of logos and nicknames that all members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and officials and students of Florida State University can be proud."

While this agreement acknowledges our use of Seminole imagery as supported by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, there are further conversations about racial appropriation in the context of society as a whole. Please see our resources on this page as a starting point for research into this important topic. 

Special Note Regarding Research Materials: While FSU does not use the word "mascot" with regard to the Seminole people, archival, and other historical materials may include the usage of the word and may contain offensive imagery. This material is provided for research purposes as part of the historical record and not to condone any offensive language or imagery. 


The Seminoles are represented in many facets of university history, including photographs, yearbooks, publications, memorabilia, and various administrative records. The list below only includes specific collections that are known to include files on the Seminoles. Please use the links in the box marked "Online" to search our catalog and finding aids, or to contact us for additional research assistance.

A man in Seminole dress rides a spotted horse before a crowdThe 2016 FSU Homecoming Court stands with Miss and Jr. Miss Florida Seminole

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