Save The Miami Circle

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Posted by Vicki K. Whiting on February 21, 1999 at 07:23:57:

My name is Vicki (Cherokee/Apahcee) and I am trying to contact as many
Native people as I can in hopes of getting help in a battle to save a
ancient sacred site here in Florida. Recently an ancient (1200 yrs old)
"ceremonial circle" was discovered in a lot soon to house an apartment
complex in Miami Florida at the mouth of the Miami river. My family and
I have been praying, drumming, singing and dancing in hopes of "saving
the circle". When we arrived the bulldozers were at the site ready to
bulldoze. Through our prayers and singing we drew attention to the
circle. The local community was drawn together by Spirit and we were
able to get the county involved. After attending many city and county
meetings it was voted 10-1 by the county commissioners to take the
property through "eminent domain". The problem is raising funds to buy
the site from the developer--who paid 8 million for the site but wants
as much as 50 million for it. A hearing is scheduled to decide the fair
value of the site next week.
Bobbie C. Billie (traditional "Seminole"--I use quotes because Bobbie's
family has never left the Everglades and were the original inhabitants
of Miami) is a spiritual leader among our community and had asked us to
join in the fight to protect this sacred site. He is there now
continuing the fight--although he is very tired and this is having a
large toll on him. We were forced to return to Tallahassee (were we
currently live) to "regroup" and be available for the actions of the
State. The governor is supposedly meeting next Tuesday here to discuss
the role the state will play in this.
Archeologists have stated this could be the most important archeological
site in the North American continent. We know it as an important Native
site. When the county commissioners decided they would get involved and
"save the circle" by trying to seize the property through eminent
domain, we felt as though we had made a large step in securing what is
rightfully the indigenous peoples spiritual future. Now it seems the
City is planning on blocking the seizure. We desperately need help in
drawing attention to this site as an important Native site. One of the
commissioners Thursday stated..."how can we a community of immigrants
not protect this for the original inhabitants of this community, lets
not continue the mistakes of our past..."
Please, if there is anyway you could spread the word among the Native
community it would be greatly appreciated.
I plan on trying to let other native peoples know about this situation
in hopes we can all band together in like hearts and through that power
regain a piece of what has been taken from us. As you know our spiritual
beliefs are not something that we practice once a week, but rather an
intrical part of our everyday lives. All of our most sacred sites have
been taken and turned into amusement parks or tourist attractions. When
our spirit is taken from us--they have taken everything. Please once
again, all I ask as that you become aware of this opportunity to take
back an important part of our past and rebuild for our future.
Thank you for your time and if you decide you would like to get involved
please feel free to contact me (


Vicki Whiting

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