The News-Press staff writer Chad Gillis will appear on The Florida Roundup Friday to talk about the Voices of the Everglades project, in which Gillis and photographer Andrew West chronicled the lives of Indians living in the Everglades.
Special Page:Voices of the Everglades series
Voices of the Everglades featured Seminole and Miccosukee tribal members as well as traditional Indians who aren’t part of a reservation. For eight months Gillis and West traveled through the Indian world, documenting the last indigenous people living in Florida.
And while there were varying opinions among the 4,400 or so Seminole and Miccosukee living in the Everglades, everyone The News-Press interviewed spoke of a restored Everglades — pristine conditions that allowed their ancestors to life a natural life in a traditional setting. Living the old way, or “the good way” as many Indians say, is no longer possible because the Everglades has been polluted.
Water flowing in ditches along the Tamiami Trail was clean enough to drink just 20 years ago, but now Indians struggle with health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, alcoholism and obesity. Now water there is so polluted that Indians rarely eat fish from their homelands. Instead, they grow corn, buy beef and eat at fast-food chains such as Popeye’s Chicken.
The Florida Roundup airs from noon to 1 p.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM, the Miami-area affiliate for National Public Radio. Listeners can participate by calling (800) 743-9576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.