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Donate to the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe's cultural preservation and relief efforts. 

 

Tropical Storm Lee Exposes Tribal Community's Vulnerability

Sept. 4, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee brought flooding throughout the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community.  Pointe-au-Chien flooded on the 3rd, but waters continue to rise on the 4th. 

The Tribal Community has become more vulnerable due to the lack of natural protection from the reduction in the barrier islands, salt water intrusion caused by the haphazard cuts by oil companies, and the rerouting of the Mississippi.  Only recently has levee work begun at the lower part of the village. 

The rising waters was documented by the Houma Courier in this story:  http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20110904/ARTICLES/110909841/1211/NEWS01?Title=Local-officials-cautiously-optimistic-as-storm-meanders

 

Donations to assist in the relief effort can be sent to the
Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
PO Box 416, Montegut, LA 70377. 
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HURRICANE SEASON 2010
TRIBAL LEADERS CONCERNED ABOUT HURRICANE SEASON, IMPACT ON HOMES AND LIVELIHOOD DUE TO OIL SPILL
--WE HAVE NO PROTECTION--
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IKE 2008
SEVERE FLOODING CAUSED IN POINTE-AU-CHIEN
TO AN ALREADY FRAGILE COMMUNITY
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GUSTAV 2008
EYE PASSES THROUGH POINTE-AU-CHIEN
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CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW
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NEWS:  CLEAN UP IN TRIBAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZED BY TRIBAL ATTORNEY JOEL WALTZER ON SEPTEMBER 27-28, contact joel@waltzerlaw.com for more info. 
 
LATEST PRESS RELEASE:
 
PRESS RELEASE

SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

 

Louisiana Coastal Tribes Appeal for Help After Ike and Gustav

Devastate Lower Bayou Indian Communities

 

Tribal Communities Dealt Blows after Gustav and Ike Hit Gulf Coast. 

 

For the second time in three years, tribes in South Louisiana face back-to-back catastrophic hurricanes.  In South Louisiana, the lower bayou Indian communities of Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha, the Bayou Lafourche Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha, and the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha face tough times.  Three years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita dealt devastating blows, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike ravaged the small fishing communities.  Hurricane Gustav destroyed tribal buildings, tribal homes, and left some tribal members homeless.  Some members are living in homes that are not habitable.  Hurricane Ike, a category 2 storm passing 275 miles to the West, caused a 6-8 foot storm surge in lower Pointe-au-Chien and Isle de Jean Charles.  Almost every home in the tribal communities has some damage, and the tribal communities of the Grand Caillou/Dulac and Bayou Lafourche Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha are also facing similar problems.  Tribal leaders assessed that more damage was caused to their communities during Ike and Gustav than during the 2005 hurricane season. 

 

The devastation to the tribal communities results from years of neglect.  Unfortunately, the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community and the Isle de Jean Charles Indian Community are exposed to the elements.  With no levee and no coastal restoration projects planned to protect the Community, the Pointe-au-Chien, the Isle de Jean Charles, and other communities, these small tribal communities face hard times.  Their current situation was exasperated when the Mississippi River was rerouted, the barrier islands were not protected, and the oil companies arbitrarily and systematically cut canals resulting in increased salt water intrusion.  Because the Terrebonne Barrier Islands are disappearing, the tribal homelands of the Pointe-au-Chien and the Isle a Jean Charles Indian Tribes are now the barrier Islands, resulting in more damage and flooding during each hurricane season. 

 

After three weeks, tribal communities finally have electricity and water to start the clean-up process.  Some houses, however, cannot be repaired or cleaned.  Because it took so long to start the clean-up process, some families face mold and mildew.  Insurance companies told tribal members to wait to clean up until they can investigate.  "It's a big mess," said Chief Albert Naquin of Isle de Jean Charles, "and we are going to need a lot of help to clean it up." 

 

Chairman Charles Verdin of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe is concerned about the impacts the storms will have on fishermen, who have been unemployed for the past month—the height of the shrimping season.  Most families work during this time period and save funds to last throughout the winter, with the loss of their stored food supply from their freezers, the loss of additional food supply and income, and rebuilding, this is going to be a tough winter. 

 

Louisiana officials traveled to Washington D.C. this week to request funding for the State, but the Louisiana tribes need community-wide rebuilding relief to sustain their communities.  In the past, relief funds for rebuilding and repair have not been sufficient and tribal members who should have benefited from state-wide programs for rebuilding have been denied assistance because tribal members live on "family property."  Further, the State provided a white paper on coastal restoration needs, which focused primarily on already funded projects and repair of levees that were breached.  Tribal burial grounds and traditional hunting and fishing areas are also left exposed and tribal leaders fear will ultimately be lost to the Gulf of Mexico. 

 

The lack of federal status impacts the ability of the tribes to receive aid from the federal government or from having a real voice in recovery and relief in the South Louisiana region.  Through the Louisiana Coastal Tribes Coalition, bayou Indian tribes are working together on emergency response and rebuilding efforts.  After the 2005 hurricanes, the LCTC was able to coordinate with the Mennonite Disaster Service to build five homes in four tribal communities.  LCTC is coordinating clean-up and rebuilding efforts across four Indian communities.  The Tribes are hoping to coordinate long-term recovery and coastal restoration efforts in order to protect the culture and way of life of the tribal people of South Louisiana.  At the same time, the bayou tribes need to raise over $500,000 to pay for experts and research to assist in their petitions for federal acknowledgment which are due to the federal government soon.  All fundraising efforts, however, have been impacted by these storms. 

 

To learn how to volunteer or to donate, please visit the www.lctci.com, or http://pactribe.tripod.com.  Donations can be made directly to the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe at PO Box 416, Montegut, LA 70377.  The Louisiana Environmental Action Network, www.leanweb.org., is working directly with the tribes to provide much-needed supplies.  Only donations to the Coalition, the Coalition's member tribes, or organizations working directly with the tribes, are guaranteed to reach those impacted.