This brought back memories of my daughter Haalie's birth (Book Two). It was a moonless night deep in the Everglades. Nokosee and I were on the run from Army Rangers who were trying to kill us. With the help of Nokosee's father Busimanolotome (Busi) Osceola who helped us escape-- and died for it-- I gave birth in a bithlo (a dugout canoe) hidden among the sawgrass with the sound of the firefight going on in the background. I will never forget looking up into the black night sky from the wet bottom of the bithlo as I screamed to push Haalie out. It was glowing red from the distant fires that were burning down our secret hammock hideout.
Although I'm an Osceola by marriage to Nokosee, Betty Osceola is not Nokosee's grandmother. Almost everyone in the Miccosukee or Seminole tribes is an Osceola. That said, if you read my books, you know that my getting accepted into the tribe by marriage was a major undertaking that included a prequel Busi dreamed up-- like the New Seminole-- he called a "Walkabout" in the Everglades that would prove my worthiness. I call it an Everglades Death March which left me abandoned, starving, bleeding, mosquito bit across every part of my body, and naked-- all because Busi didn't want to have anything to do with me. So, if what they said about Betty Osceola is true, that she didn't want her granddaughter to marry a white man, I can relate. Although Busi never said it outright, I'm pretty sure he wanted Nokosee to marry within the tribe-- which is nuts when you consider Nokosee's mom is Cuban. She once was Demaris Rodriguez before she met Busi at Hialeah High where they were both students. But then again, Nokosee is the "First of the New Seminole" so I suspect the old man was hoping to start the new tribe off with a pure bred. Anyway, it's not like intermarriage between the tribes and "Outsiders" is rare. It's been going on for years with white and blacks so when I read this news today, I had to wonder what this is really all about. I suspect there is more than one side to this story. But in any event, you don't snatch newborns from their mother's arms no matter what the reason.
UpDate (3/22): The Miccosukee Tribal Court has ruled baby Ingrid must be returned to her mother and father.