The THPO Collections section is broken up into three facets. The first, deals with artifact analysis and curation of over 500,000 objects that have been carefully recovered through archaeological surveys on the Seminole Tribe’s reservation lands. The second focuses on Repatriation and the Seminole Tribe’s constant battle to have its ancestors returned. Finally, the third concentrates on Research that aids the THPO in its endeavor to help the Seminole Tribe tell their story. For research inquiries, please contact THPOresearch@semtribe.com.
The Collections Section is also responsible for maintaining the Seminole Site File, a repository for the tribe’s cultural resource information (i.e. archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, historic buildings and structures). The Site File provides the Tribe the ability to manage its extant cultural resources in an appropriate manner, and has broad implications for its cultural and economic well-being. The Site File also includes the Tribal Register of Historic Places (TRHP), the top tier of the Site File. While the TRHP has several similarities to the National Register of Historic Places, it’s criteria for the preservation of exceptionally significant sites has been tailored to meet the specific needs of the Tribe.
The Research section performs the historic and academic research needed to best support and accurately tell the story of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and their ancestors. They also work to provide outreach to the public, work with academic communities, and promote the decolonization of history. If you have questions or are looking to perform research with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, please fill out the form below, or email us at THPOresearch@semtribe.com
“The Future of archaeology is in excavating the collection.” –Terry S. Childs (2004)
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is a federal law that was passed in 1990 to provide a process for museums and federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items — human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony — to lineal descendants, and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The Collections and Compliance staff works together with cultural advisors, the Tribal Council and museums across the country to bring tribal ancestors home.
The Collections staff is tasked with determining the most accurate identification of objects that are collected on Tribal land by the Tribal Archaeology Section (TAS) during Phase I and II archaeological investigations. The Collections department is currently curating over 500,000 objects, which include animal remains, historic pottery fragments, and historic bottles that are found on reservations owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe. The species of animal bone that are found on reservation typically include turtle and snake remains, while some excavations produce larger animal remains such as bobcat, deer, and bear. The Collections staff has also identified rare projectile points and pottery sherds, which can be found in the Artifact of the Month articles.
Additional Note: Please do not mail artifact donations of any kind to the Tribal Historic Preservation Office or Collections Staff. Donations are meticulously regulated by Tribal Policy and cannot be received through mail. If you have any questions about the donation of artifacs, please contact the Collections Manager directly. Thank you for your understanding.
Domonique received her BA from the University of California, Irvine and her MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology from the University College London. She went on to study Collections Management with the George Washington University. She has been with the THPO since 2011.
After growing up on Long Island, Sam headed upstate and earned her BA in Anthropology from SUNY Oneonta. She moved to Florida in 2011 and received her MS in Forensic Studies with a concentration in Human Identity and Trauma Analysis from Florida Gulf Coast University. Sam has been with the THPO since 2017.
Senior Research Coordinator
Dave graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in History, and from Texas Tech with a Master’s in Anthropology. He has worked on historic and prehistoric archaeological sites in Texas, Ecuador, and Zimbabwe before returning to Florida. Dave has been with the THPO since 2015.
Marcella grew up in Ochopee, Florida and is a member of the Seminole Tribe. She graduated from FIU with a Political Science degree. Before joining THPO, Marcella was the manager for the Miccosukee Indian Village for six years. She continues to advocate and protect her people through her work as the first NAGPRA Liaison for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.