Announcement: Maroon Leader Phil Pompey Fixico to Attend Mexico Maroon Gathering

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Pompey Fixico, President of the Semiroon Historical Society in the United States has again been asked to represent North American Maroons when he visits Naciemento de Los Negros, Coahuila, Mexico this year to meet with other maroon descendants and conductspecial ceremonies.

Phillip Gordon Montemayor (Taquache), a noted Maroon
 activist in the United States and Mexico, has extended his group’s invitation to Mr. Fixico  so he can meet other descendants and conduct his "Seminole Maroon Peace Belt Ceremony."  Mr. Gordon will act as his Guide and Protocol Officer.

In recent years Mr. Fixico has performed this ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, at a National Park Service conference in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and at Fort Clark, Texas and many other places.

Both Mr. Fixico and Mr. Gordon are descendants of courageous maroon people – a mixture known as Black Indians -- who fought for freedom from the time of Columbus and the Spanish conquest of Florida. Maroons faced powerful, well-armed foes. To save their families they had  to battle U.S. slaveholder kidnapping forays into what was called Spanish Florida. They next had to defend themselves during forty-two years of warfare with the United States. The Seminole maroons of Florida managed to fight the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines to a standstill before agreeing to migrate to Oklahoma.

Mr. Fixico and Mr. Gordon, like the Muscogos people in Mexico and Texas, can trace their ancestry to the famous Wildcat/John Horse band that repeatedly battled invaders from colonial Florida to Texas and Oklahoma. In 1850 these people fled to Mexico where they continued to intermarry with Mexicans.

Fixico has traced his own ancestors to Indian Territory soldiers, interpreters and sergeants who fought in 21 Civil War battles as part of the First Indian Home Guard, the John Brown Band, or the Caesar Bruner Jim Lane Band.

In 1870 members of this multicultural nation, calling themselves “Seminole Negroes,” returned to the United States, but always kept their close association with families and loved ones in Mexico.
 

William Loren Katz is the author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage [Atheneum, 2012 revised edition] and often has worked with Pompey Fixico to spread the story of the maroons, our first freedom fighters.