Indigenous Florida

by Dr. Denise I. Bossy and Dr. Keith Ashley with students from the University of North Florida

Welcome to Indigenous Florida. Here we tell a new Indigenous-centered history of present-day Jacksonville, one that more accurately includes the perspectives of the Mocamas, Guales, Yamasees, and their ancestors. Their homelands encompassed much of Northeast Florida.

Jacksonville’s past includes a deep Indigenous history. Beginning more than 10,000 years ago, small family bands occasionally moved through the area. By 6,000 years ago, Native populations started living permanently near the Atlantic coast. Contrary to the myth of an unchanging Native American past, migrations, contact with outsiders, long-distance interactions, and technological innovations shaped the Indigenous history of Northeast Florida long before Europeans arrived.

Using tours, exhibits, objects, images, and maps, this site makes our research open to everyone. Our first project is an Indigenous digital walking tour of Fort Caroline in present-day Jacksonville. In the coming months and years, we will continue to add new tours and exhibits. We hope you continue to visit and use the site as we grow.