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The Pointe-au-Chien tribe has formed a coalition with the Bayou Lafourche, Grand Caillou and Dulac Indian communities to coordinate the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Please visit www.lctci.com to get updates and learn more.
Most of Louisiana's remaining native Americans reside in four centuries-old communities in the southern-most ends of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, such as Pointe-au-Chien (renamed "Chenes" by non-Indians).
In this sleepy, modest fishing town, French-Indian is the language most often heard, and generations of smiles and laughter almost always accompany a good pot of jambalaya or plate of soft shell crabs. Today, these unique communities, their language and Indian culture, their lifestyle and even their identity as a separate people are deeply threatened.
On September 1, 2008, Hurricane Gustav ripped through these bayou towns with ferocious winds and a six-foot storm surge. In its wake, Gustav left a trail of ripped roofs, crumpled houses, uprooted marsh and thick mud, unparalleled elsewhere in Louisiana. Almost all of their houses sustained major damage, from being pushed off their foundation to having their roofs ripped off. Generations of entire extended families have lost everything.
If these communities are to survive, they need help in rebuilding and recovery efforts. For more information on the tribe's specific needs, see the Pointe-au-Chien tribe members' website. Right now, they could really use some energetic young people to help them muck out.
If you want to go there and assist, please coordinate through Joel Waltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made to the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, PO Box 416, Montegut, LA 70377, or the Louisiana Environmental Action Network's Gustav relief effort, by visiting its website at leanweb.org. Donations made to either the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe or LEAN are tax deductible.