The 5 Tribes

 

The Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana consists of 4 federally recognized tribes; The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, and The Jena Band of Choctaw Indians Tribe, as well as the state recognized United Houma Nation. Since 1975, the consortium has served as an advocate for basic human needs, such as healthcare, housing, employment, and education, for tribal members in Louisiana.

 

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

The Chitimacha Reservation is located in south-central Louisiana, near the town of Charenton southeast of Lafayette.  In 1767, the Spanish granted land to the Chitimachas.

The Chitimacha Tribe traditionally lived in territories that lie within the contemporary geographical markets of Maringouin in the north, and regions southeast of New Orleans to the mouth of the Mississippi River in the west.  The Chitimacha Tribe was comprised of four bands – the Chitimacha, Yagenechito (eastern Chitimacha) Chawasha, and Washa.

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Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

The Coushatta Reservation is located three miles north of Elton, Louisiana.  In 1973, the tribe received federal recognition under provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act.  In 1975, the federal government established a 15-acre reservation for the Tribe.  Another 160 acres were set aside by the federal government in 1980.  The Coushattas purchased an additional 80 acres in 1992.

The Coushatta Tribe is descended from the Muskogean tribes that lived in the southeastern United States.  The tribe belonged to the Creek Confederacy and lived in the Tennessee River country of present day Alabama.  The Coushatta encountered Spanish explorers in 1540.  The tribe maintained a civil coexistence with the Euro-American settlers until the United States began to initiate removal policies.

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United Houma Nation

The United Houma Nation today is composed of a very proud and independent people who have close ties to the water and land of their ancestors. The unique history of our people has shaped our tribe today and the culture and way of life are a lifeline to that history.

The Houma Nation 300+ years ago was located in Central Louisiana where the boundary marker between the Houmas and the Bayougoulas was the namesake of the capitol city of Baton Rouge meaning “red stick.” With the encroachment of French settlers, the Houmas began migrating south until they reached the lower reaches of coastal Louisiana. Because the land was located along the flood plains of the Mississippi River, it was considered uninhabitable by most settlers. The Houmas were able to live peacefully off of the land, which provided all of their nourishment. Tribal members were traditionally farmers, fishermen and trappers.

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Jena Band of Choctaw Indians

The Jena Band of Choctaw has 60 acres of trust land in Grant Parish.  Members of the Jena Band live in separate communities throughout north-central Louisiana, centered largely in the town of Jena, Louisiana.

The ancestors of the Choctaw Indians have lived in the southeastern United States since prehistory.  The original territory of the Jena Band extended from the east-central region of what is now the state of Mississippi in the east, to the Mississippi River and slightly beyond in the west.  In 1803, the British, French, and Spanish governments colonized the area.  The band was soon affected by conflicts with settlers, diseases, and war with other tribes.

 

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana

The Tunica-Biloxi reservation is located in east-central Louisiana near the town of Marksville, 25 miles west of the Mississippi River.  The reservation occupies a land based that has served as tribal lands since given to the Tunica Tribe in the 1780s by Spanish colonist Bernardo de Galvez.

The Biloxi Tribe originated along the Mississippi Gulf Coast near present-day Biloxi, Mississippi.  The Tunica Tribe originated in northern Mississippi and exercised great influence over vast amounts of territory across present-day Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

The Tunicas encountered Spanish explorers in 1541, and the ensuing diseases, famine and warfare forced the tribe to move southward along the Mississippi River.  Spanish colonizers gave the land encompassing the present-day Tunica-Biloxi Reservation to the Tunica Tribe.  The Tunica and Biloxi tribes resided together on the lands, and they permanently united politically during the 1920s

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