As many of you know the United Houma Nation's lack of federal recognition has been a significant barrier in advocating and taking action to protect the rights of our people to live as indigenous people. As the issues affecting our communities continue to grow in crisis proportions, our legal status, or more like our lack of legal status, keeps tribal leaders and advocates on the side lines. The federal protections put in place to ensure tribal sovereignty are legally often only granted to federally recognized tribes.
The irony of the situation is that Louisiana historically had laws in place that did not allow American Indians to inherit property from their parents and it wasn't until 1965 that UHN tribal citizens officially were allowed to graduate and enter public education systems. Consequently, today we find that we continue to be marginalized and excluded first by the very laws that did not allow Houma Indians to grow and prosper historically and today this treatment continues through our lack of acknowledgement as Houma people.
Recognizing this injustice, a group of community partners have organized an online petition to US Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell calling for the recognition of the United Houma Nation. Although the petition cannot guarantee the UHN federal acknowledgement, with enough signatures it can gain the attention of Secretary Jewell and show her the national and international support for the Tribe. As of today over 3,500 signatures have been gathered primarily by our friends and parnters. Now is the time for our tribal citizens to have their voices heard. Click the link below to sign the petition!