Get access

Fungibility: Florida Seminole Casino Dividends and the Fiscal Politics of Indigeneity



ABSTRACT  In this article, I examine Florida Seminoles’ governmental distributions of tribal-gaming revenues that take the form of per capita dividends. Dividends reveal the political and cultural stakes of money's fungibility—its ability to substitute for itself. From tribal policy debates over children's dividends to the legitimization of political leadership through monetary redistribution, Seminoles selectively exploit the fungibility of money to break or make ties with one another and with non-Seminoles. They do so in ways that reinforce indigenous political authority and autonomy, and they thereby challenge structural expectations in U.S. public culture and policy that would oppose indigenous distinctiveness to the embrace of money. [Keywords: money, tribal gaming, American Indians, Florida Seminoles]