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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.

Seminole Tribe of Florida & Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

This guide represents the different viewpoints of the Seminoles in regard to Florida State University and its use of the name "Seminole". Historically, both of the tribal nations were Seminoles but forced removal divided the people and their histories took divergent paths. When discussing the Seminole tribe and nation, it is appropriate to correctly refer to the Tribe in Florida and the Nation in Oklahoma in order to respect these disparate identities and the political context. 

Welcome to this guide on Florida State University's relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, created for the Division of Student Affairs by FSU Libraries. The goal of this guide is to provide varied viewpoints and historical records on the University's relationship with the Seminoles through online, print, and archival resources accessed through the left navigation links. It is important for the FSU community to engage with quality resources before we can have substantive conversations about the Seminole & FSU relationship, and work towards better representing and respecting the Seminole Tribe.


Four unknown people look at FSU Seminole logo designs. From FSU Libraries, Special Collections.

Seminole Village, From CARL Digital Collections

"For almost 70 years, Florida State has worked closely, side by side, with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The relationship, built on respect, is so mutually supportive that in 2005 the tribe — which rarely puts such things in writing — took an unprecedented, historic step with a public declaration of support" (from FSU University Communications). Others assert that using the Seminole symbol, and all Native American imagery in mascoting, is "ignorant about our own collective history" (from 'The Florida State Seminoles: The Champions of Racist Mascots' in The Nation). The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma's governing body passed a resolution that the "Seminole Nation condemns the use of all American Indian sports team mascots in the public school system, by college and university level and by professional teams" (...) while many claim that the relationship honors the culture of the Seminoles while eliminating stereotypes and providing important education about the history of the tribes ('Florida State’s unusual bond with Seminole Tribe puts mascot debate in a different light' in Washington Post). Explore these resources and the history of this relationship to learn more about the complex relationship between our University and the Seminole people.

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