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Jason Billie fills latest liaison post at Education

Jason Billie stands outside of the Dorothy S. Osceola building on the Hollywood Reservation on Aug. 14, 2023. (Damon Scott)

HOLLYWOOD – The Seminole Tribe’s Education Department recently hired Jason Billie to fill a new tribalwide community member liaison position – one of two that are staffed by tribal members. Most tribal students began the school year Aug. 16.

The liaison serves as an advocate to help students and parents access programs and services, and interact with Education staff and administrators and teachers at tribal and non-tribal schools. Part of the job includes advising Education staff on cultural topics, and assessing the cultural needs of students.

“It’s a new position [in Hollywood] and it’s needed because sometimes when a tribal member goes into the school environment they don’t feel comfortable,” Billie, who started July 17, said. “Even though we’re here in the Hollywood area, we’re kind of closed off by choice. The schools don’t know what it’s like here; we’re kind of self-secluded.”

Billie is from the Hollywood Reservation and operates out of the Dorothy S. Osceola building. His counterpart, longtime tribal employee Dana Osceola, who has been a community member liaison for more than a year, operates from the Brighton Reservation.

Billie expects his workdays to fluctuate between department meetings, parent-teacher meetings, and school events like open houses.

“Maybe a family member has an issue with a school or teacher or administrator,” he said. “I can get an understanding of where the parents are coming from and what the certain department is wanting to do, and I can say: ‘I know this family, this is what’s going on there.’”

Billie said there are 385 tribal students who attend private schools, in addition to those who attend the Ahfachkee School in Big Cypress and Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School in Brighton. He added that he and Osceola also assist students who aren’t registered with the Education Department.

Diverse background

Billie, 50, said his experiences working on and off the reservation has helped prepare him for the job.

When he was 20, in 1993, he worked for the Education Department as the principal’s assistant at the Ahfachkee School. He also attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and operated a custom T-shirt business in Hollywood. Billy went on to graduate from the tribe’s Tribal Career Development program in 2012. The program gives tribal members a taste of working in the tribe’s many hospitality and gaming departments at Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming properties.

Basketball has also been a staple of Billie’s life for many years, as a player and a coach. He worked in the Hollywood Recreation Department for six years from 2017 to 2022. During that time, Billie did a stint as an assistant basketball coach for Standing Rock High School in Fort Yates, North Dakota, for its 2017-2018 season.

“In Recreation I tried to come up with activities to get the kids moving, trying different things – alternative fitness,” he said. “Some kids don’t really want to play basketball, dodge ball, kickball, so I tried to find different games for them to play.”

Billie has four adult children and is the son of the late Joe Don Billie.

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Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at