The Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana Gains State Recognition

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Kevin’s Gallery

Over 150 members of the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana gathered at a local hotel Saturday, Feb. 10 to celebrate the state of Louisiana formally recognizing their tribe. The tribe’s branches are indeed far flung, with people coming to the event from North Carolina, Seattle, and even as far as Paris, France. District 23 State Representative Kenny Cox, sponsor of the bill recognizing the tribe, presented copies of the resolution to the group after which it was read aloud to all present.

The Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana members are documented descendants of Natchitoches’ original Native American population who were here when Bienville came up the river. Over the years, they intermarried with the French and Spanish settlers. According to the Vice Chief of the Tribe, Belinda Brooks, “They hid in plain sight” after the Indian Removal Act of 1835. The Tribe, long thought to be extinct, actually never was and is coming forth to reclaim its heritage. Currently, the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana has over 600 registered members.

Mssr. Clement Lagouarde of Paris, France is the most far flung member of the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana. His great grandfather was from Natchitoches and enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWI. While serving in France, he met Clement’s great grandmother, Mme Fernande Jasinsky. Lagouarde discovered his Natchitoches tribal roots while researching his family history. He also designed the tribe’s seal.

This paragraph from the event’s program aptly sums up the tribe’s quest: “Today, the Natchitoches Indians, in honor of our ancestors, have come out of hiding and have reestablished our tribe openly. A Constitution and Bylaws are in place and a tribal council has been appointed. Our people have joined together to walk in the paths of our ancesotor with honor and dignity.”

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9 thoughts on “The Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana Gains State Recognition

  1. Thank you, Mrs. Brooks for my ending comment. Yes, that is called ‘tacticalization’ of the law. Having seen your Facebook group, you note that the Caddo Confederacy claims you are a splinter group. Remembering my history lessons, I do recall your group being a Caddo tribe. I am younger than you. To lie to someone younger than you really ought to be a sin. The reason the Caddo do not need you to be a tribe is a question of morality. You marginalize others. Your comment of ‘just bring your tribe together’ makes it inherent you do not understand the criteria of the BIA. You said above that your a group from Lower Natchitoches…yet your group is from the Campti area…this is even your Facebook groups HQ. I like to call that area the Lake District. If you really were from Lower Natchitoches, you would know about the Apalachee and the late-Chief Gilmer Bennett. Google him. From what I gather, y’all are claiming to be a Tribe from Natchitoches…not the Natchitoches Indians…who are Caddo. I know you have succumbed this this truth ‘Whatever’. Your group was already turned down by the State in 2017 “Natchitoches Tribe sees setback in bid for recognition in Louisiana”. This shows the degrading of Louisiana politics in the past year along. You should really stop hanging out with politicians. All I ask is that you do not lie to a well-informed Angry Young Man. Ought to be a sin. Bless you.
    -Nick

  2. Lower Natchitoches is of the Natchitoches Confederacy. Upper Natchitoches is of the Caddo Confederacy. The Natchitoches Confederacy is not a Caddo clan. Maybe you need to read historical documents rather than false historical assumptions. When history speaks for the Caddo group, it is referring to the Confederacies/Nations that speak Caddo. The Natchitoches had their own language. They spoke both Natchitoches & Caddo. Caddo being the preferred language was used by most of the nations in that area. That did not make them Caddo Indians. Caddo in this sense of the word is referring of linguistics, not of the Caddo Indians.

    There is nothing wrong with being Creole. I, myself, have the mixed blood of Creoles. I consider myself Native American. When it comes right down to it, everyone I know is mixed. I do not know any pure breds. Do you? As you have the right to consider yourself Creole, I have the same right to name what culture I belong to.

    As you should know, state recognition has nothing to do with federal recognition. Federal recognition is another animal all to itself. Please do not be concern or confused about me when it comes to the BIA. I am informed. Like you (I’m not sure), I have my contacts, I can read and I have been studying this issue for a number of years. New laws have been added and consider the fact that many Native Americans had no option but to do what they were told or lose everything that they had. So, my ancestors hid and many Native Americans did.

    You mentioned Creole. Our people took on that name. We were also called Black, Mexican, French, Spanish, White, German. We took on any name that would not identify our Native American ancestors.so we could keep our land. and our family units.

    Now, regarding your Native American bloodline. That sounds very interesting. I have honestly, without sarcasm, never studied those tribes. On the other hand, our chief has. To be honest with you, I am a very busy lady and its all I can do to keep up with the issues of our tribe. Although you don’t seem to be interested, yes, if you have Natchitoches blood, we would invite you to join us. No hard feelings about our words. I have to stay on top of things when it comes to our tribe because of many misunderstandings that people have about our tribe. History does not know where our people went. We have been called extinct and/or joined with the Caddo when the Caddo sold their land. We did not sell our land. We are still on it today.

    • Mis-education? (giggles) You know nothing of our people yet you speak as if everyone with the exception of yourself is ignorant regarding a family history that you know nothing about. Rather comical. Ignorance such as your’s is something that I have no time for. So to satisfy your ego, I will end our conversation at this time.

      • Creole does not mean mixed-blood…as you keep implying. You keep equating it with Black Indians. Which there is nothing wrong with that mix. The POINT here is you are amalgamating Choctaw, Cherokee, and other tribes noting “the five tribes escaped and crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana and settled near the central and western part of Louisiana in the present-day parishes of Rapides, Vernon, Natchitoches, and Calcasieu”. Therefore, I am already a member of the self-appointed tribe.

      • Whatever. I did not write the resolution. Representative Cox had it written by his attorney’s. I did not see it until it was written. Never the less, I’m done with you. I owe you no explanation. I’m not into drama. Go ahead and make you ending comment.

  3. The “Resolution” makes it inherent that this tribe is what is called an amalgamated tribe…not the actual historical tribe. Therefore, it should be called the Creole Tribe of Natchitoches. Furthermore, they forgot to mention the large presence of Apalachee natives in Cloutierville.

    • Nicolas, as far as I know, and I am one of two people in our tribe that documents our Native American ancestors, I have documented no Apalachee Indians. Do you carry that blood? If so, why not put your tribe together. As far as the almagmated tribe goes, our blood is of the actual historical tribe. Our people still live on the same ground that they were moved to by orders of St. DENIS in the mid-1700s. Our mixture of blood was not a choice made by the Native Americans. European kings made that decision. Therefore, your opinion of who/what the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana should be called is of no relevance to our tribe. Does the mixture of blood only count against Native Americans. Should those who claim to have Caucasian blood be citizen for their mixed blood? What about mixed black blood? We had a president with mixed blood but he called himself black. Thank you for your concern. We are who we claim to be with or without your approval. Belinda Brooks, NTL Vice Chief

      • Not my opinion. That’s the opinion of the BIA. You should read your resolution, as it does not mention you as Natchitoches Confederacy, which is a Caddo clan. It also mentions Calcasieu Parish…what is that? It’s Atakapa. I know some of the Indians down there and they prefer to be called Creole. Yes, I am Apalachee and Alabama and Choctaw and Apache and Cherokee and Cheraw. Maybe even Natchitoches as you say. However, I consider myself Creole. You are more than welcome to accept me, but you seem hesitant.

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