The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle. They lived between the Aucilla River and Ochlockonee River, at the head of Apalachee Bay, an area known to Europeans as the Apalachee Province. They spoke a Muskogean language called Apalachee, which is now extinct.
The Apalachee occupied the site of Velda Mound starting about 1450 CE, but had mostly abandoned it before the Spanish started settlements in the 17th century. They first encountered Spanish explorers in the 16th century, when the Hernando de Soto expedition arrived. Traditional tribal enemies, European diseases, and European encroachment severely reduced their population. The survivors dispersed, and over time many Apalachee integrated with other groups, particularly the Creek Confederacy, while others relocated to other Spanish territories, and some remained in what is now Louisiana. About 300 descendants in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, assert an Apalachee identity today.