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Marcella Billie brings passion for history as museum’s new assistant director

BIG CYPRESS — After working at the Miccosukee Village museum for six years, tribal member Marcella Billie joined
the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in November as assistant director.

“I’m very passionate about our history,” said Billie, who lives near Trail in Miami. “People who are no longer here want their stories told. Seeing the old pieces and imagining who wore them and what they did to make our lives better fills my heart with gratitude.”

Marcella Billie (Photo Beverly Bidney)

Billie worked as the operations manager for the Miccosukee museum and heard about the opening from Tribal Historic
Preservation Office (THPO) director Tina Osceola, who was a consultant for the Miccosukee museum’s renovation a few
years ago.

During her orientation at Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki, Billie learned about the functions of the museum and THPO’s various departments. She said she is looking forward to being part of the team responsible for keeping tribal artifacts protected.

“It is such a sophisticated staff,” Billie said. “They are doing a lot of important work and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

For now, Billie is still learning the ins and outs of the museum. She is impressed that exhibits include information about the individual artists and that the museum keeps exhibits updated and fresh. Billie is excited to learn more about Seminole history and current issues such as the repatriation efforts of ancestors and just gaining more knowledge.

“I have a responsibility to give back to the community in the best way possible,” she said. “I want to be more informed and share my passion. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be here.”

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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