Statehood and Beyond

In preparation for the joining of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory into a new state, the Curtis Act of 1898 and the Dawes Commission dissolved the Seminole government and divided its territory among approximately 3,000 enrolled tribe members.


The restrictions accompanying allotment did little to protect their interests in the land. Many Seminole families and individuals lost their land holdings through the sale, often by fraudulent means. By 1920, only about 20 percent of the Seminole lands remained in Seminole hands. Of those who retained their property, a few became wealthy following the discovery of the Greater Seminole Oil Field in 1923.

Congress created the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 repealing the policy of allotment, and the Seminole re-established their own government in 1935.

Seminole Government

On March 8, 1969, the Seminole Nation ratified its constitution. This restructured the government to operate more traditionally. Since the 19th century, the Nation has had 14 itálwa, matrilineal town bands, which included two Freedmen bands. Each one represents several towns. Every band has a band chief and assistant band chief who the people elect. Seminole political and religious life create the foundation for their social structure.

Three Seminole Chiefs

Two representatives are elected  to the General Council. A set of bylaws  that originate from the band govern the Council. The Seminole General Council is chaired by the Principal Chief and Assistant Chief who serve as the elected governing body. The Chief and Assistant Chief are voted in at large every four years.

Tribal headquarters are located in Wewoka, Oklahoma, the seat of Seminole County. The General Council meets at the council house on the Mekusukey Mission Tribal Grounds, south of Seminole. Tribal government departments include administrative, executive, fiscal affairs, treasury, domestic violence, Indian Child Welfare, family and social services, enrollment, gaming, housing, education, language, communications, elder services, environmental, law enforcement, dialysis, youth, child care, roads, and Head Start. Tribal departments are funded with either tribal revenue or federal/state funding.