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Willie Johns walking tour at Castillo de San Marcos

Mar 21, 2019

In conjunction with artist Wendy Red Star's artist residency, and in partnership with the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Willie Johns of the Seminole Tribe of Florida will give a walking tour of sites in St. Augustine that hold significance to the Seminole Tribe on Monday, April 8 at 6 p.m. This event will include a tour of the Castillo de San Marcos as well as locations nearby. Space is limited to 40 people, and registrations are required. RSVP to 904-826-8530 or

Headshot of Willie Johns in his legal robes.

Willie Johns, Seminole Tribe of Florida citizen, is a tribal historian as well as chief justice for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As a tribal historian, Johns uses academic research as well as tribal oral history to relate the story of The Seminole. Johns has acquired a bachelor’s in history from Palm Beach Atlantic University. His duties as chief justice for the STOF have led him to successfully pursue a degree in law. His education as well as experience as STOF Chief Justice, STOF Director of Education, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Cultural Specialist, active member of the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation, Inc., and Florida Cattlemen's Association member has allotted Johns the background to portray an accurate depiction of the Seminole past as well as relate the modern culture of the Seminole.

Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersection. A lesser known story of the Castillo, known as Fort Marion during the American military period, is that it also served as a military prison during several periods in the 1800s, including the 1837 imprisonment of Seminoles during the Second Seminole War. 

Based in Portland, Ore., Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star’s work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty and unsettling.

During Wendy Red Star’s residency, she will explore the untold histories of St. Augustine, bringing together scholars, artists, students, and the public to learn and share in ideas through a multicultural lens. Red Star’s interest emerges from visits to St. Augustine in March 2011 and April 2018, and subsequent research on the region’s history, including the Timucua and the Native American Incarceration periods at the Castillo de San Marcos, formerly Fort Marion.

This event is co-sponsored by the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

The CEAM Artist Residency, in collaboration with Flagler College’s Department of Art & Design, is a regular program of artists-in-residence to engage in themes of place-making while collaborating with some aspect of St Augustine’s local community, the city’s significant and varied roles in American history, or its rich natural environment. A goal of the residency is to foster diverse perspectives on these aspects of our local community, and artists and scholars in a range of fields are invited who integrate and collaborate between the areas of fine art and broader fields of inquiry, such as curatorial practice, performing arts, and creative writing.

The CEAM Artist Residency is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

For further information on our programming, please visit the website here, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or The museum’s hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m.

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