TIL Due to casino distributions, every Seminole Indian child born is a multi millionaire when they turn 18 years old.

TIL Due to casino distributions, every Seminole Indian child born is a multi millionaire when they turn 18 years old.


Funfact: The [Seminole Hard Rock Casino](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seminole_Hard_Rock_Hotel_and_Casino_Tampa) in Tampa is the 6th largest casino in the world. Originally, the land was being developed by the city for a parking garage when in 1980, Indian remains were found. The land was turned over to the Seminole tribe and within 2 years the first bingo hall was built and it's been expanding ever since


You know a casino is big when you walk in the front door and there stands a shopping mall-style map pylon with a big "you are here" spot clearly marked. The place is enormous, and that buffet? Oh man...


If you think that's big just look up the Winstar on the Oklahoma-Texas border...


Which is why the Oklahoma and Louisiana casino industries donate so much money to certain Texas congresspeople. They don’t want Texas to legalize gambling because they want all the Texans from Houston and Dallas making that short drive across state lines.


Same reason that online gambling is still illegal in Oklahoma too!


Isn't money in politics fun?!


It is the absolute best!!!


I love money In politics!!!!!


I’ve been there. I love the multicultural decorations and effects, they’ve even got a miniature Statue of Liberty & Mini Eiffel Tower in there! Played roulette and craps. The only thing that sucks is the Ante required by the state. That eats you worse than the house edge.


Ante required by the state?


All table games have a $1 hand rake that goes to the state.


I don't think it's all table games. I think that's a concession that was made specifically to get in real roulette and craps in the past couple years. Prior to that, Oklahoma was limited to the lame card-based "craps" because of the ban on table games primarily involving chance in the outcome as opposed to "skill" games.


Can confirm its all of the table games, but it's only 50 cents, not a dollar


At Choctaw casinos, it's 50 cents on card games like blackjack, but it's a dollar on craps. Not sure what it is on roulette, never played.


There's a state mandated ante?!


I was told that’s what it was, unless the dealer was misinformed. Every Oklahoma casino I’ve been to has an ante.


I work electronic games, not table games, but I definitely would not put it above the state to mandate an ante. I remember at the beginning of last year they were trying to extort the tribes by raising the royalty amounts on all class 3 games (pretty much everything but bingo and bingo-based slots), but several tribes refused the deal. Was pretty worried about it, and then the Supreme Court settled the McGirt v. Oklahoma case, which resulted in the state basically having no power over tribal citizens. Then the pandemic hit full swing, and I haven't really kept up with it since then. I might have to do some reading to find out what happened. The BIA hasn't raided our casino yet, so I assume it all worked out in the end. Lol


Bonus fun fact: The Seminotes outright own the Hard Rock brand. So any cafe, casino, hotel proceeds go right to the tribe. It's a brilliant business move.


It's a brilliant business move... to own and operate a large, successful brand?


Businesses hate this one simple trick!


why didnt i think of this!


Next they will reveal that its a brilliant business move to make millions of dollars a day.


Look at how much money they’ve made doing that, and imagine how much more they could be making if they knew about the “buy low, sell high” investment strategy!


> Bonus fun fact: The Seminotes That would be a good name for a band.


Speaking of Hard Rock


It's funny that there is probably someone out there that thinks Hard Rock is part of the Seminole name. Like how Standing Rock in South Dakota, Hard Rock must be an important part of their history.


Well technically Hard Rock is now.


Kinda funny how history is an ongoing thing.


Unironically it really is


considering the Seminole tribe bought hard rock some years back... it literally is


And to think all this came about because some small tribe ran a bingo hall out of a single-wide.


It was actually a garage in Michigans U.P. He didn't have the funds to finish the fight, but he started it. https://mynorth.com/2014/02/fred-dakota-founded-native-american-casinos-in-a-u-p-garage/ He also passed away a few days ago, sending me on the deep dive into the history.


Interesting story, thanks for the link.


Sorry, but you are actually mistaken. The reference in question to a single-wide trailer was the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians (located in Indio, California). The Cabazon Card Room was operating out of a single-wide by February 1983 (and likely had been since 1979 or 1980ish, but I can’t find an exact date). The story you linked to states that Fred Dakota didn’t open his garage casino until December 31, 1983. Also, Cabazon was also more influential than Michigan because after the 1983 incident they took the county to court, eventually winning the case on appeal in 1986. Immediately afterwards, the state of California appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit, but lost. After that, California appealed it to the Supreme Court, who heard the case in late 1986 and then issued a decision in favor of Cabazon in early 1987. This decision effectively overturned the existing laws restricting gambling on US Indian Reservations. Additionally the Seminole Tribe, who this post is about, actually had a lawsuit that was settled even before Cabazon. The tribe was planning to open a bingo hall in 1979, but Broward County and the state of Florida attempted to prevent the opening. The tribe filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Butterworth of Broward County in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida which decided in favor of the tribe and allowed the bingo hall to be opened in late 1979. The sheriff and the state then appealed the decision to the Fifth Circuit, but again the decision was upheld in favor of the tribe in 1981. The case name was Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Butterworth. In fact, the Seminole case and the landmark Cabazon decision ended up being a massive influence on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed by Congress in 1988, which established the framework that governs Indian gaming to this day.


I guess it's splitting hairs, but a bingo hall and card room are not casinos. It even stated in my linked article that the casino permit was attached to a bingo request.


What is a 'single wide' if you don't mind me asking? Is it a caravan?


A semi mobile trailer home. You can't casually move them like an RV or camper, but they can be moved on the backs of large trucks. They're called single wides because double wides also exist, which is two single wides each without a fourth wall, joined together for an even larger trailer home.


Btw, a single wide is like a big caravan with no driving part. I think caravans are truly mobile? A single wide is a mobile home or "trailer," it's a pre-made home that can be set onto a semi-truck (big lorry) trailer and moved, all in one piece. A double wide is two of them put together to make a more spacious home. In context, it means the bingo game started in a building the size of a small apartment. Trailers are often used for all kinds of buildings on reservations, if you do any history research into reservations, you'll find the government banned each tribe's traditional building methods, then forced (and continue to do so) really low quality homes & workplaces onto them. The situation today is directly related to the dirty tricks of the US govt.


"The Shakopee Mdewakanton are the wealthiest Native American tribe, going by the individual personal wealth. They are 480 members, and each member gets around $84,000 per month" ​ Bruhhhh


I live in the area, Mystic Lake is a great casino. Unsure how it compares in size to others as I've only been to Mystic but I know some of the tribes people and they are living good.


With $84,000/month they damn sure better be living good!


I'm assuming that's tax free too.


They don’t pay state taxes. I think they have to pay federal taxes on the income.


I had a buddy who used to work at a mobile phone store, said one girl from the tribe would come in about every month or two to replace her broken or lost iphone.


I have a trust fund friend who does basically the same thing. He doesn’t get iPhones though, and now has a drawer of slightly outdated shitty droids he gives to his poor friends when their phones break, because he just gets a new phone after 12 hours of not really looking, and then the old one will turn up naturally. I think that when you don’t really need something, it ends up seeming stupid to not “just stop and pick up a new one on the way home, and set it up in the car”


Man setting up seems like a hassle, even if the phone is free.


I guess a lot depends on how much he uses the phone for, but with android it's fairly simple, just log in with your username and password and then 90% of the setup is handled for you (I assume apple is similar as well). Still a huge hassle to be doing that regularly though.


> (I assume apple is similar as well) I went from a 6s to a 12 and the switch was so simple I felt cheated on the new device experience - it felt like the exact same phone to use. I only really felt I had a better phone the first time I took a photo in bad light a month later.


The secret is losing it so much, that he might as well have a flip phone.


Yes, because with the amount of money they have its the equivalent of losing pocket change.


When I lose my chapstick I dont panic trying to find it, I get another one. The first one usually turns up in a jacket pocket later, hey cool extra chapstick. It's insane to me to think people have enough money to do this with phones but I guess there's a whole nother level of living I don't even know anyone in lmao


I have a friend who got $60m from his father selling the family business. He spends happy hour complaining about problems that nobody can relate to. His remodel is taking too long on the house he just bought, his accountant might be wrong, his golf club guy can't get his act together. It's a whole set of problems I sure as hell am not dealing with.


Big part of why ultra rich really can't be friends with "normal" people. Your friend isn't even the ultra rich.


I was told years ago (when I was going to Mystic a lot) that the casino's annual revenue was greater than any single casino in Vegas. Now, part of that is "supply and demand" since there are SO many options in Vegas and only one to three casinos (depending on your definition of the region) in the Twin Cities area.


Little Six, Canterbury, and Mystic Lake. Two are owned by the Mdewakanton Sioux and one is run in partnership with them. They essentially have a monopoly on gambling in the Twin Cities since the next-closest casino is Treasure Island just north of Red Wing. The next-closest ones are all over an hour from the metro area.


I think a big reason the Mdewakanton are so rich is because the tribe is relatively small compared to western tribes. Growing up in the area, I've always found it fascinating to ask older relatives what they thought of the reservation growing up. My mom said she visited someone there once who was a friend of a friend or something weird like that, but anyway they lived in serious fucking poverty. Like multiple families living in a single mobile home levels of poverty. Absolutely insane to think that the poor friend of my mom's friend is making $1M per year doing absolutely nothing today. It's also really interesting to see how they choose to spend their money. Lots of them just take it easy, but I know a few of them are heavily invested in agriculture. $1M per year to spend on deductible farming expenses is a great way to invest and pass the time. Honestly I'd do the same if I had that kind of cash.


So a bunch of people tried last year to get a casino going for Native Hawaiians and [it was shot down by local government](https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2020/12/29/hawaii-news/ige-opposes-casino-on-oahu-dhhl-land/). Native Hawaiians aren't recognized as a Native American tribe due to [a bunch of weird loopholes and political drama](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akaka_Bill). But if they got a casino going in Hawaii, they would make a killing.


Can you imagine that feeling of stumbling out of the casino at sunrise after and all night bender with your favorite game of chance and being on a Hawaiian beach? The buffets would be just something else too.




Alaska's trying to get native gaming up and running too, but they're also facing issues. Since the state was bought so late in the game compared to lower 48 tribes the system for Alaska Natives is completely different. They actually got a really good deal compared to some Lower 48 tribes, but because they were set up as Native held and owned corporations instead of reservations there's additional issues with setting up gaming. Not that I think it would be a good idea. While native gaming has made a huge difference to some tribes for others it's just another avenue for addition. I'd worry that if native gaming gets set up and it's not limited to just Anchorage and Fairbanks the gaming centers will prey more on Alaska Native members then outside groups making any benefit to the corporations cancelled out by addition issues.


Knew a girl from this tribe. Family had the fucking life, dad built a skateboard park in their massive garage, had tons of cars, an RV, a wii and TV in almost every room, family went to disney every year and didnt work for a single day


Yup this is all true. My partner is a member of this tribe. Pretty crazy lifestyle, and yes, more than a handful of them still live “paycheck to paycheck”. Drugs are also a problem here.


So is being filthy rich as fun as it looks? What keeps you busy most days? Asking for a friend.


Yes and no. But mostly yes lol. My partner is really good with money, doesn’t buy lambos or spend 10k at a club or anything. We like to travel a lot , I’m 27 with no job, I golf 2-3 times a week. I can take long weekends up at the cabin, buy pretty much what I want.I’m in the process of getting my private pilots license.


Oh wow you actually responded lol. Good for you, that sounds nice


My dream life lol


Yes, I have a relative through marriage who married into Mdewakanton money. They have thirty acres down in Shakopee complete with golf carts, they bought their nine year old son a car because he whined that he wanted it, and they paid a local private school a substantial amount of money to move to a building closer to them because they didn't like driving their kids that far. Oh, and they live paycheck to paycheck, often don't have enough money to do things the rest of us are doing, and both their kids have developed substantial drug problems.


“We have 99.2 percent unemployment," Stanley R. Crooks, the tribe's president, told the New York Times in a 2012 interview. "It's entirely voluntary."


Im from a small town just south of Mystic Lake in MN and we would go to the "rez" in high school cause we thought it was cool to know some rich native americans. Once you get past the cars, houses, and toys they have you realize how dangerous of a place it is cause everyone abuses hard drugs and people literally got the shit beat out of them if they looked at a girl that some tribe member was tryna get with. I got to try on a pair of taser knuckles though, pretty sweet


Used to bartend at a strip club in MPLS. A guy who was part of this tribe would come in with his friend and his driver, and would foot the bill for everyone in cash. He said he had $10,000 on him at all times.


Live in MN. Yup. They have some ridiculous cars, houses, etc. but the substance abuse problems are substantial.


My buddys mom worked at a credit union either on or near yye reservation and she said that some of them would get advances on next months check because they'd spend it so fast.


I am close with a guy that owns a couple car customization businesses in the south metro with a lot of customers from the tribe. He said he has had to change his payment policy because so many of them still live paycheck to paycheck. That blew my mind more than the size of the check lol


Uhh so what you’re saying is i should set up a 29.99% paycheck cashing and advance service next to the res?


Good luck garnishing those tribal distributions


Oh man you gave me flashbacks of when I used to work repos. Once a car went on the reservation it was basically gone lol. Some guys did go there and repo without the tribe knowing though. Sounds insane But yes. One or two payments or whatever you put down and it's yours! Just gotta keep it there


Had a friend who partied with them. she said they were like buy a new boat every month kind of thing lol. Also yeah drugs and partying real hard.


I grew up in Prior Lake where the casino is. Had a few friends that were from the res but knew a lot of them through school. A few of them used their opportunities to pursue a career, but a lot of them (understandably so) coasted through high school just to get access to their funds. Two I had known passed away, one due to a high speed car wreck, another from an overdose. I learned very quickly to not go to friends parties on the res during high school. They were cool, don't get me wrong, but without fail every party, a bunch of older res guys would show up. Saw a kid get his ass jumped and beat for offhandedly saying their music choice sucked. Nothing you could do about it because the towns police had no jurisdiction on res land. That being said the tribe does a ton for the town monetarily, and most of the members I've met are very nice.


My partner is a member of this tribe. AMA


I drive by often. Is the tribe buying more land for members? It looks like there are a few new private housing developments around Mystic. One of the older areas is clearly labeled as reservation. How do I know if the other houses are reservation?


They are buying more land. They have various properties around PL and Savage that is tribal bought land. If you go down by the water tower and church on 42, there is a composite site that has a ton of land around it that will eventually be developed into homes etc. There is also some tribal land behind their convenience store that butts up to The Wilds. Also, it’s at $40k a month now not $84. Not sure when it changed.


Every tribe member gets $128,000 per year, distributed through biweekly payments. Besides the hefty paychecks, members also get access to free private school and college fees, senior citizen care, and universal health care. By the time Seminole children attain 18 years, they are multi-millionaires because the child and parents are not allowed to withdraw any cash from the trust funds until the kids are adults. They also get an additional $200,000 when they graduate college.


Sounds like a very generic trust that any estate attorney would draft up for someone wanting to leave money to their kids/grandkids. It’s smart. They certainly were not doing great before the casinos, I remember visiting the reservations in the 80s.


This is definitely not the norm. I work at a casino on a reservation and they do have per capita for the tribe members but it’s a 1 time payment when they turn 18 and it’s wayyyyyyy lower than these numbers.


The difference is location. If the reservation's casino is within or near to a major metro area they do extremely well. The vast majority of reservation casino's are pretty rural. There's only a handful of tribes like the Seminole. The Shakopee Mdewakanton in Minnesota are the richest according to news reports.


The Winnevegas casino south of Omaha does well. Its owned by the Ho Chunk of Nebraska but they have diversified into many other businesses also.


My nation doesn’t have percap at all, but we do have scholarships…. 2k per semester. Most of our money goes back into tribal expansion, which is great for those that it benefits, but that’s largely only those that live in the tribal headquarters and there’s not many of us that do.


Yeah seems to me the casino I work at just reinvests the majority of its money into the casino with ads, giveaways, promotions to get people into the door. We haven’t had a company wide raise in a decade. They just ordered a 100k buffet counter for a cafe we haven’t had open since the pandemic started… The real kicker is we are so understaffed that even if they opened it. They couldn’t staff it to keep it open.


Sounds like someone's friend got a no bid contract


It's a bad business that's doing well in these times and not investing in itself. It's not about the money as much as the resources, when covid does ease, all that equipment is going to be much more expensive. Restaurant gear is dirt cheap now.


Wow this is really insightful. Thank you.


Fortunes are made in down times, realized in up times.




As youre native maybe you could explain something for me. Ive been invited to the Seminoles nation. Their wealth is incredible and shared equally. But I have also traveled out West to other Nations and wow, what a difference. Something bothered me then but I wouldnt ask my hosts as they might think rude. Cant help but ask why dont they share their wealth w other Nations? After all there are 24 Natives in West that just received electricity this month and others dont even have water!! Maybe you know and can explain. Dont want to offend, just understand. Thanks.


Everyone keeps saying that it's because of the different nations, but lemme lay out it plainly. My tribe's businesses (as many many others) are run by an elected board of people. As you can imagine, when a lot of money is involved, there are well-meaning people elected, but there are also power-hungry, greedy people who are great politicians who get elected, too. Our per cap is in the order of a few hundred dollars each month. All 4 board members get 6 figure salaries (including one making $200k+/year) and don't pay state income tax so it's effectively higher. To give you an idea of how corrupt it can be, one former chairman wasn't even a tribal member! He invented some affiliation and worked the system to get an honorary enrollment (something some of my cousins don't even have at just under 1/4 native). And that per cap? Our reservation CAN dole out more but doesn't because it means some members won't qualify for other US government assistance. Seriously. (In fact, our tribe just got an 8 figure settlement from the pipeline built through it and tribal members didn't see a penny from it directly and there's only a few thousand members) And similarly, our reservation CAN share the wealth with other tribes within the same nation that are poorer, but don't. Long story short, others are suggesting the wealth sharing isn't happening because of different nations, which seems somewhat understandable and even a bit noble, but it isn't noble, it's primarily politics and selfishness: board members are not going to win elections by giving band members less to help band members in poorer tribes.


Yup, lived/worked on the Sisseton-Wahpeton reservation for damn near all my life, and the corruption on that reservation and alllll the other ones in South Dakota breaks my heart! Makes me angry to see chairmen line their pockets while their families live in squalor!


Corruption is a human constant. It transcends race, gender, nation and creed.


Also not every tribe has access to a good location for a casino. Good management can only do so much, you need to be able to get people in the door and there just aren't that many people in North Dakota (for example.)


[http://www.cgcc.ca.gov/documents/rstfi/2021/13\_RSTF\_Distrib\_79th\_CommStaffReport\_6-30-21.pdf](http://www.cgcc.ca.gov/documents/rstfi/2021/13_RSTF_Distrib_79th_CommStaffReport_6-30-21.pdf) CA gaming tribes put funds away for non gaming tribes.


Seminoles have a population of 4000 according to Google. A small population means the income stream is less divided.


That's sort of like asking why wealthy Japanese don't do more to help impoverished Chinese farmers. They may both be Native American tribes but that doesn't mean they have much in common beyond historically getting fucked by the US government.


Basically, exactly. Our only shared history is with the tribes that ended up in the same place as us after relocation and even then, it’s still not much with the Seminole nation. We’re a northern nation and don’t have many relationships with the southern nations except for what we’ve built in the short time we’ve been in Oklahoma.


If the other Nations had banded together in the beginning...it's like wondering why all the Euros didn't stop killing themselves from the beginning on time until whenever the EU was formed. diff folks diff strokes


Because your designation of them as "both native American" has absolutely nothing to do with their history or affiliation


"Cant help but ask why dont they share their wealth w other Nations?" Because it's the same as them sharing their wealth with anybody else not part of their tribe/Nation.


Not an Native American, but my guess is that there are few ties to each other, besides being different than the Colonists. A Native American Seminole and a Navajo, probably have less in common than a Spaniard and a Nowegian. They are much further apart, geographically, so they are probably further apart, culturally as well


I am talking specifically about the seminole indians. I grew up in FL and there were Seminole reservations near me that I went to as a kid. There are now Seminole casinos there and their tribe is thriving. I am certainly aware that other tribes around the country are struggling still.


My great great grandmother was a Seminole and I still remember how poor she was. Granted, this was back in the 70s, before the casinos and she was 100 years old back then (her 100th birthday being the event I remember most clearly.)


You may be eligible. It's worth a look-see.


Blood quantum for the Seminole is 1/4. The poster above you would need a grandparent with full blood quantum to qualify to register with the tribe.


Any of my relatives that would have qualified are long dead. My grandfather would have qualified, but he passed away almost 50 years ago. My father and Aunt, both around 80, are only 1/8.


Same situation (different tribe) free college, healthcare. Just got a 2k stimulus check. Free housing for college. Etc. My future kids get it as well


Also, are you single.


It's because there were almost no Seminoles left when the casinos started... Most tribes were outright slaughtered or could hang on with somewhat reasonable numbers. They have pictures up in the back at the Seminole properties of the members of the board, and it's extremely obvious these people love their lives now and don't have to take shit from anyone.


Not unheard of either though - the Barona tribe in San Diego do it as well last I checked. Unless my Barona friend is lying to me.


The gaming tribes in San Diego do it as well, including Barona. What’s particularly neat about California tribes, is they do Revenue sharing with non-gaming CA tribes as well. Many tribes don’t have have land, infrastructure, resources, and opportunities to build and run a casino. So the revenue sharing from gaming tribes with non-gaming tribes is impactful. It should be noted that the Seminoles are by far the most successful with their casino business (they were also the very first). The large majority of tribes don’t have the financial success of the high-profile gaming tribes.


That's cool to hear about the sharing with non represented tribes. The last news I heard on Native people's was an established tribe trying to block a smaller one from opening a casino in the same state.


“They were not doing great” I wonder why.


The poorest county in the country is a rez out by Rapid City, SD iirc. Per capita income for all 2400 people is $19K a year


To clarify the average household income on Pine Ridge Reservation is abysmal. **97%** of households live below the poverty line. The *median* household income is $2,600-$3,500 annually.


Pine Ridge is officially a dry reservation. So the nearest town outside the reservation limits, ([Whiteclay](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteclay,_Nebraska)) was (until 2017) just a street full of liquor stores and a cheque cashing place straddling the border.


That is tragic. I will never forget my friends mom spending all month sleeping and watching tv until the 1st… then she grows legs and hit the post office followed by the liquor store. The liquor store would actually cash her check for her and it was half gone spent from her basket. Meanwhile her teenage son was spending all his time at my house because the fridge had food in it.




To add to this they have a serious alcohol abuse problem. To combat this they made the Rez a dry city. There’s a small town just across the Nebraska border called White Plains that has a population of 24 people. It has six liquor stores to cater to the demand of the people of the Rez.


That all ended in 2017. Nebraska pulled the liquor licenses.


The Havasu Pai live near the Grand Canyon. They don't even have a road system to get to where they live. Everything has to be muled or helicoptered in.


Not near it, in it. The village is in the bottom of the canyon. Certainly not the deepest part, but still… Been there when my MIL was working as a teacher for a bit. It’s…rough


My Aunt and Uncle both grew up on various reservations in the 70s and 80s, Pine Ridge included, and they're members of the locata tribe. My Uncle still lives there but comes down to Saint Louis every summer to work with my other uncle. He has some crazy stories. He's been mugged up there multiple times and stabbed on several occasions, and watched some dude threaten him with a knife only for the dude to pass out and fall onto the knife. I can't imagine what growing up there would be like.


It is very much this way with the Potawotami (sp?) Tribe in Milwaukee, WI. Tribe members are paid out heavily and offered free tuition etc at Notre Dame. I do not think it is common for tribe members to take advantage of this benefit, as the schooling is not tribe centric.


They turn down a free ride to ND? If I was already rich I might not go to college anyway, but wow that seems like a big opportunity to turn down.


If I was rich I’d take 5 years to finish college. Beyond the education, college is the largest collection of young adults you’ll see probably ever in your life. AKA a giant party with people your age, and you’re the rich one who can afford everything.


tuition might be free, I doubt acceptance is


I agree with you 100%. Sadly, the distrust between tribe members and people in the surrounding communities is real. Racism is subtle in the Midwest, but it is there. Which sets up a situation where tribe members do not want to be educated as the rest of us are, they feel college prepares you for a world they want no part of. I can't fault someone for seeing flaws in a society and choosing to take a different path. We define success as college degrees, houses, careers, etc. I do not think that is a universal definition.


Worked on a Seminole reservation in South Florida when I was younger for a year or so. Not everyone was getting that money at the time. The casino disbursements were allotted by political standing in the tribe. The daughter of the chief at the time we found in the ditch passed out with cocaine and booze all over her car. The tribal police came and took her home, lol. There were very rich natives that had awesome houses etc, and there were typical single wide trailers with 80 broken down beater cars out front. Lots of drug use and alcoholism even though the rez was dry. I'm not sure if the amount of money has changed per person but you could just go drive out to the big cypress Seminole reservation and drive around and see.


A Seminole person should write a book about this. I would devour it cover to cover.


Indian tribes have a lot of serious drug problems everywhere with heroin and meth. It's really bad, I went on a date with a girl who was native indian and absolutely insane. She made me wait an hour for her to get ready and then the dinner conversation was about how she was in rehab with an a-list celebrity along with other stories that made it a red flag soup. No amount of money would have made me ask for a second date.


Ive actually been to a Seminole wellness conference that’s basically like dare for adults as well as kids. That’s how bad not only drug use, but also other health concerns like obesity and mental health issues are.


Only 30% of them graduate highschool and most are reading/writing at or below a 5th grade level and live to be an average of 45 years old.


Sounds a lot like Canadian reservations. Recently in a large res the children of a prominent band council member drove drunk and struck and killed a young man on a motorcycle. It’s an open secret in town, no real investigation, no repercussions. If you commit a crime, you beeline back to the res and are home free. Talking to a few reservation cops over the years they all say the same thing, drinking and driving laws aren’t enforced, and very few cars are registered. It’s a much more lawless atmosphere.


Now let’s talk about the fun part of who gets to decide who is an “official” Seminole Indian. These things get complicated and ugly. Do you have a child with a tribe member and another child with a non-tribe member? Guess who is a millionaire and guess who gets jack shit?!? Wanna marry outside the tribe? Want to divorce a tribe member? Millions of dollars are at stake.


Money brings out the ugliest parts of humanity




It’s not even about ethnic race. It’s about being an insider. Lots of multi-generational, full-blooded seminoles get kicked out over internal politics.


As a member of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma, we real poor. Edit: I didn't imagine this somewhat deprecating statement to blow up as it did. However, I'd like to add that I'm very proud to be part of the Seminole Tribe in Oklahoma and despite our financial challenges, we have a rich tradition. Also, If y'all want a quasi-glimpse of Native life in Oklahoma, give the show Reservation Dogs a view. The show is directed and written by a local Muscogee-Creek and Seminole filmmaker, Sterlin Harjo, from Oklahoma.


Most of the Florida Seminole are also. The $128k is only for full-blooded and documented Seminole of which there are few. The money drops off of a cliff the moment you have mixed heritage.


Yeah this seems to be the big caveat that needs to be addressed. Native American politics, from an outsiders perspective, are far more complicated and somewhat troubling than many might assume. Some tribes are very tight with their membership requirements while others aren’t. And mixed heritage children often create contentious issues in the tribe because some member’s children may not even be able to qualify under the current rules. It’s a real mixed bag and more exclusionary policies seem largely driven by money, which can make it very toxic.


> Some tribes are very tight with their membership requirements while others aren’t. Not to be cynical, but it usually is as simple as “do we financially benefit more from a small membership or a large one?”


I remember reading an article years and years ago about just how cruel they were about cutting out people who had claims to full tribal membership. Basically searching for any discrepancy or technicality they could find to cut people off. Lots of tribes aren't necessarily going to have the best record keeping either, on account of the displacement and genocide. The real kicker was in some of these tribes the people sitting in positions of power weren't necessarily full themselves, hell a lot of them looked white, but they'd consolidated power so they were fine. Imagine having the temerity to kick people out of their own tribe that you don't even belong to.


Almost seems like a weird racial purity thing motivated by money; or at least a potential to be something like that.


Yeah I’m like 1/64 Cherokee and have my tribal role number. Which entitled me to a $2,000 stimulus from the tribe this past month. The rules vary greatly, but for Cherokee as long as you can prove heritage you’re in.


Osiyo. I'm half and only got that $2k. Also 1/4 Sac n Fox but guess what? You can only have ONE tribal membership. And Mom n Dad decide which one.


Honestly I was so confused by this post as a resident of Oklahoma, now I see it’s the Florida Seminole who weren’t marched off by Jackson.


Can confirm. Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma member here, too.


Are you of Irish decent, also? Asking because of your username.


That is correct.


Do the Seminole make per cap payments? I’m Choctaw. We don’t get any. But it has gone to improve a ton of tribal services.


The same. I believe all go to a trust for improvements to tribal services. There’s a rumor the tribe may issue stimulus checks by the end of year to all members.


Do you have a casino?


I think we have three now. However, unless you’re lost in rural Oklahoma, you aren’t going there.


I’ve been there! It was for work…


They have three, they just are overshadowed by the casinos run by the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Muscogee which are much closer to OKC and Tulsa


Mohegans are doing pretty well too. They don’t have many left so there’s not many to split the profit up between. I have a friend who is Mohegan and he said, at the time in the early aughts, there were only two full blooded Mohegans left and they were very old then. I’m not sure there’s any full blooded left now.


What happens when the Mohegan blood gets too diluted? I get that tribes can set their “blood purity” standard (I can’t think of the right name). But if there’s only two full blooded Mohegans, and not a lot of 1/2 or 1/4 blooded, eventually you’re going to end up with a lot of people who are 1/8 or less Mohegan. That might work for a couple generations, but unless there’s eventually a lot of inbreeding within the community, wouldn’t the tribe kind of die out? And at that point, who owns the land/casino/profits? Also I’ve heard the Mohegan Sun casino is pretty awesome.


I dunno my 23AndMe result is telling me im 0.005% Seminole Indian despite my parents both being immigrants from Asia.


Unless they've changed, they are telling you that you share .005% unique dna with identified Seminole who have also taken the test.


Wouldn't you just share a bunch of DNA by chance anyway?




I don't share my DNA. Get out of here, mine.


Could be noise. Could be a common ancestry between people who settled in Asia and people who crossed into the Americas.


They're actually super protective of their "purity" so if you're mixed bye-bye checks!


Ummm...I'm a member of the Choctaw Nation and we have casinos. Where's my check?!


If you’ve been paying attention to your tribal announcements you would have seen that our Choctaw Nation has been sending out financial aid assistance during covid. They also provide many other programs such as scholarships, clothing allowances and others.


Yes, I do know about the CARES act and the elder food assistance program...and the new $1000 for two years in a row if you've been impacted by COVID. I'm just wondering if we'll ever get any casino "profit sharing".


Haha I think there’s too many of us for that and the Seminoles are an exclusive tribe that requires a certain amount of blood to be a member while we don’t have any specific requirements.


Yeah, last I saw there was like a quarter million Choctaw tribal members. Even though they generate a ton of revenue, it'd be nowhere worth profit sharing with every single member compared to the support and services they provide right now.


Talk to your government. The Seminole have been been making smart investments, both financial and social, for some time. They took proceeds from cigarette sales and early bingo halls to later buy the Hard Rock Cafe empire. The McGirt decision may help out a bit. But it takes a few years for that sort of decision to make a economic impact.


The Florida Seminole were blessed by geography and the perseverance of their ancestors. They happen to be a small tribe that owns almost all the tribal land (and therefore places to build casinos) in one of the largest states in the country. Very few tribes could do anything to replicate the success of the Seminole.


It doesn’t hurt that the Seminole Hard Rock Casino is on I-4, just about an hour away from Orlando. Come down to Florida for a trip to Disney? Why not stop by the Casino on your way to Clearwater Beach?


Cherokee here, we got 2k per citizen no questions asked for covid. All 300k of us. Look into your tribes benefits.


there are two major seminole tribes, the larger of which is based in oklahoma. so not all seminoles are wealthy, just the ones descended from the ancestors who hid in the florida swamps and avoided forced removal to indian territory. history is weird.


The per-member distributions are so large partly because they aggressively purge their membership roles. They controversially use a 1/8 blood quantum standard to determine tribe membership. This isn't some relic from the Indian Blood Laws either --it was established in 2000. ​ A more cynical person than I might say that existing members have a financial incentive to deny legitimate membership claims, shrinking the pool of beneficiaries.


Pretty sure this is the FLORIDA Seminoles. Back when the trail of tears occurred, many Seminoles relocated to Oklahoma. Today the Seminoles exists as two different tribes: one in Florida and one in Oklahoma. The Florida Seminoles are very rich while the Oklahoma Seminoles are not


This is Florida Seminole only and not all.


>The State of Florida has also been enjoying massive sums of money thanks to a deal brokered in 2010 where the tribe would make payments to the state in good faith in return for exclusivity to offer blackjack and other banked card games. How the fuck is this not bribery?


Because the legislature said it isn't


Lmao basically the equivalent of “I have a permit” …“Ron this is just a piece of paper that says ‘I can do what I want’”.


Because it clearly says it’s in good faith


Because they're paying the state -- essentially the people of Florida as a whole. It's not really bribery if it's a fair deal and everyone knows what it is. Then it's just "commerce." I don't know the specific situation in Florida, but often what will happen is something like: ​ \- the state has made gambling illegal \- the reservation enjoys enough freedom from state law to provide gambling anyway \- resentment throughout the state threatens to cause gambling to become legal everywhere \- the state's legislators don't want this for various reasons, and the reservation doesn't particularly want the competition \- the reservation agrees to voluntarily make tax-like payments to the state, in exchange for the state's legislators agreeing to push back against legalization \- this causes the voters of the state to feel that the reservation is now somehow "playing fair" and the pro-legalization sentiment simmers down ​ It's not limited to reservations. Rich, old universities often do the same thing. They are legally speaking tax exempt, but these days they also engage in a lot of commercial activity which really stretches the definition of their tax-exempt status. In exchange for the local community agreeing to voluntarily overlook these stretched definitions, the university will agree to voluntarily pay tax-like payments to the public government. This satisfies most people's sense of "fairness" so they all go along with it.


Ayyyyy someone who actually considered ALL the possible incentives and motivations at play here. Good on you man, take an upvote.


For one rich as fuck tribe you got 4 poor as fuck tribes


My old boss was just a regular old working stiff, college dropout. In his early 30's, it was disovered he was descendant of a tribe that runs a large casino/hotel down here in Southern California. After this discovery, he was told he could receive financial compensation after taking a few classes about the tribe's history, language, do some community work and participate in some ceremonies, etc. This process took about a year. After he was done with all that, he began receiving about $350k a year from the tribe. Must be nice. Too bad this nice little windfall didn't stop him from being a prick.


This is only technically true and is essentially untrue. This framing is also used by racists to paint Native Americans as lazy or having easy, cushy lives. You only get much money if you're 100% Florida Seminole, if you satisfy very specific and ever narrowing criteria. There are lots of people who are for all intents and purposes Seminole, but don't get money (or very much anyway) because they're not 100%. This is so people with money get even more money and control everything, just like the rest of America. Plus you can't escape some of the huge problems that come with being Native, like specific institutions not accepting tribal birth certificates, racism, abusive families, extreme poverty and terrible water quality, and substance abuse.


The title is extremely false. The largest Seminole band is the [Seminole Nation of Oklahoma](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seminole_Nation_of_Oklahoma) and they do not get this money


Title is just leaving out a few details... They need to be from the Florida Seminole Tribe and 100% Indian.


"So wait, who actually gets the money then?" Oh, just Dave over there


There's a pretty similar (but less positive and darker) aspect to the Canadian Sawridge Band. They lease their land to the Canadian Oilsands Industry and are one of the largest benefactors of it (getting a royalty on all oil extracted). This has made them BILLIONAIRES and the thing is, their band only has 50 members so each member is sort of one of the richest people in Canada. But to keep a band at 50 members is tough because people procreate and so they've made rules to artificially limit the size of their bands. Men can marry outside of the band, women cannot. If women marry out, they get out. And thus there are hundreds of ex-Sawridge women across Canada who have no access to their benefits or fortune because they opted to marry out rather than marry a cousin. When tested in court they declared Marry Out Get Out was a protected part of their tradition and no laws on sexism could change that. The federal government created a law that stated that if an indigenous group did not provide a proper account of spending that they would be cut off from all federal funding. The billionaires at Sawridge argued that secrecry is a tradition of theirs protected under treaty rights and thus they're not required to expose their finances to anyone. Today Sawridge secretly has its money in everything and is secretly one of the largest investment groups in the world. The group secretive nature has made them the indigenous boogieman of Canada (in which every indigneous group must be like them).


Native American casinos are supposed to distribute, but they don't. My friend who is Quapaw should be receiving revenue earned from Downstream Casino in Oklahoma, but the tribal elders, who all have part ownership, decided it would promote 18 yr olds not to work and be lazy..... .....so they decided to keep ALL of it themselves.....and use that as an excuse to keep it.


Quapaw member here. They keep stringing us along, getting our hopes up that we’ll be receiving our settlement check and nothing ever comes of it. I am extremely grateful for the COVID assistance we have received, though.