FIRST, Congratulations to Honorable Ambassador Fidelia Graand-Galon of the Republic of Suriname who, speaking for her country’s “Maroon Women’s Network,” invited my dear friend Phil Pompey Fixico, President of the U.S. Semiroon Historical Society to an important international maroon conference in Suriname. Attending as an honored guest for his many activist networks and international reputation, he will represent North America’s maroon descendants at this “Freedom Fighters National Maroon Day” celebration. It commemorates the 255th anniversary of the historic Suriname Peace Treaty of October 10, 1760.
Mr. Fixico will be joined by the Maroon Women’s Chamber of Commerce representing maroon descendants from Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Delegates will sign a document agreeing to assist each other in social, economic and cultural development matters, and urging the teaching of maroon contributions to history.
The treaty of 1760 demonstrated the unity, spiritual and military power achieved by America’s Indigenous People, their African allies, and their Black Indian children. This unified resistance to European tyranny demonstrated the unyielding resolve of people of color in the Americas to live free. They bravely waged a successful struggle against Europe’s leading colonial nations, and their well-armed modern, troops.
Mr. Fixico was chosen a special guest to participate in Suriname because of his record of Maroon activism at home and internationally, and as the direct descendant of Seminole leader Caesar Bruner revered for his decades as a Seminole interpreter, military leader and truce negotiator. Mr. Fixico is descended from the freedom-fighting Black Seminoles and maroons of Florida who held the US Army, Navy and Marines at bay for forty-two years.
We have worked together for years bringing Black Indian history to the public and into the media. We are founding members of Indian Voices Magazine’s Bureau of Black Indians Affairs and often have been interviewed together. In St. Augustine, Florida we addressed the National Parks Service Conference on the Underground Railroad that ran not North but South with Indigenous people, Africans and Black Indians as its conductors.