This book is the story of Buffalo Tiger's life, told in his own words. Born in a small village in the Everglades in 1920, Buffalo Tiger grew up immersed in the traditional customs and language of the Miccosukees. Making their home for generations in the remote reaches of the Everglades, the Miccosukees were able to retain much of their older way of life well into the twentieth century. As the modern world encroached on the Miccosukees and the Everglades shrank around them, Buffalo Tiger became an energetic and outspoken leader of the community. He and other Miccosukees fought for years to escape the shadow of the larger, better known, and more politically powerful Seminoles. As the first tribal chairman of the Miccosukees, Buffalo Tiger oversaw the adoption of a tribal constitution and worked diligently for reforms and to protect the community's cultural and natural resources. In the 1970s the Miccosukees became the first modern tribe to take complete control of their affairs and federal budget.
Buffalo Tiger's penetrating observations about his people and the world around them, combined with the skilled scholarship of historian Harry A. Kersey Jr., strikingly illuminate a memorable life, a tireless leader, and an Indian community still proud to call the "River of Grass" its home.
2003 James J. Horgan Book Award, sponsored by the Florida Historical Society, winner