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Seminole Tribe of Florida

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When the Olympics open in Sydney, Australia, three months from now, the state of Florida will be there. The state is sponsoring a $750,000 Florida World Pavilion, a 6,000-square-foot site that promotes tourism, trade and culture in downtown Sydney near the games, Secretary of State Katherine Harris announced June 29. The largest contributor so far, the Seminole Indian Tribe, has contributed $200,000. The tribe hopes its investment will showcase the tribe and its eco-tourist attractions to the world. "A lot of non-Americans think the only Indians in America live out West and ride horses," said Max Osceola, a council member. "We want everybody to come and see our culture." The tribe will be hosts to the Everglades section of the pavilion. A dozen Seminoles plan to go to Sidney to dance and play music for the spectators. The Florida Department of State initiative is still $100,000 short of its goal. More than 40 students from Florida universities will participate in the project, which features sections on the Everglades and Florida's film industry. The 2000 Olympic games in Sydney open Sept. 15. Tampa is one of several U.S. cities bidding to host the games in 2012. Others include Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.