BETTY MAE JUMPER (born 1923 in Indiantown, Florida) was a Seminole Indian tribal leader and publisher first woman chairman of the Seminole Tribal Council. She was born in a small village in the Everglades to a full-blooded Seminole mother and a white father.
In 1945, she and her cousin, who also attended the school, became the first Florida Seminoles to graduate from high school. The Seminole tribe of Florida received federal recognition in 1957, and Betty Mae Jumper was elected as one of its representatives. She continued to work in tribal government in various capacities, and in 1967 she was elected head of the Tribal Council, the first woman to serve as leader of the Seminoles. She left office in 1971 and became publisher of the Seminole Tribune newspaper. Betty Mae Jumper also collected stories and legends of the Seminole and has lectured widely about Seminole history and culture. She has not only worked in health care, government, and media positions to improve the fortunes of her people, but she has also sought to preserve Seminole culture and educate others about it. She died peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Friday, January 14, 2011.
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