Dustin Fuqua to speak at NGHA’s October meeting on People of Cane River

Natchitoches Genealogy Historical Association President Billie Gibson announces the monthly meeting to be held Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 pm. The meeting will be held in the Genealogy Library located at 600 Second Street.

This month’s speaker is Dustin Fuqua, Chief of Resource Management at Cane River Creole National Parks. Fuqua works hard to preserve the history of these parks. He has conducted extensive research at many historical sites, like the Oakland and Magnolia Plantations and places in and around Cloutierville, LA. Plan to come and listen to Fuqua as he shares his research, knowledge and experiences of these incredible historical parks and areas of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.

Dustin will speak on the topic “Traditionally Associated People of Cane River:

Using Ethnographic Methods to Document, Study, and Interpret Descendant Communities.”

Perhaps one of the most special aspects of Cane River Creole National Historical Park (CARI) is its relationship with the descendant communities of Oakland Plantation and Magnolia Plantation. The term Traditionally Associated People (TAP) defines a living group of people whose traditions are closely tied to the resources in national park units. This concept was meant to ensure that these groups are taken into consideration when park managers formulate policy, develop plans, and make decisions. The term refers exclusively to groups which: form a community; are tied to park resources through cultural identity and heritage; pass traditions and identity from generation to generation; and were associated with significant resources for two generations before the creation of a park.

Though substantial ethnographic data was produced in the mid-1990s, time-sensitive opportunities to learn from aging Cane River TAPs still exist and must be acted upon quickly. A testament to their perseverance, descendants of both plantations continue to reside near both park units and often access its resources. Descendants of enslaved Africans, sharecroppers, tenant farmers, day laborers, overseers, planters, Tribes, Creoles of Cane River and traditional cultural practitioners remain and should be consulted. As such, the park proactively developed an ethnographic project to learn from TAPs about historic practices and traditional knowledge in order to better manage park cultural resources. In doing so the project team interviewed over 40 informants, digitized previously unreleased interviews, created final reports, and produced five Section 508-compliant documentary films. This presentation will highlight ethnographic interviews with informants and discuss project development and dissemination. A viewing of three 10-minute documentary videos will be provided for attendees, with a concluding opportunity for a question and answer session.

In addition, David Stamey Natchitoches Clerk of Court will install the Association’s new officers for 2020 – 2021.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For directions or additional information, please call the Genealogy Library at 318-357-2235 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday during the hours of 9 am – 4 pm. PLEASE NOTE: The library is closed on Monday and Friday each week until further notice.