United Houma Nation

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14 Dec

Helen Gindrat Honored for a Lifetime of Service to Houma People

Posted by United Houma Nation on Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ms. Helen Gindrat former Chairperson of the Houma Tribes and Vice Chairperson for the United Houma Nation passed away on November 21, 2014 at the age of 83.  Ms. Helen began her leadership role during the 1960s where she was recognized by then Golden Meadow leader Frank Naquin as the delegate to attend a federal recognition meeting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Chicago.  This event would prove to be the initial meeting with tribes pursuing federal acknowledgement through the Bureau of Indian Affairs where the current process was created.  She oversaw the tribal adult education program in the 1970s.

Ms. Gindrat would serve as the Chairperson of the Houma Tribes based in Galliano.  She and Mr. Howard Dion, then Chairman of the Houma Alliance, would officially merge the two groups in 1979 to form the United Houma Nation.  She also served as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs under Governor Dave Treen from 1980-1984.  She returned to her service on the UHN Tribal Council and served as the Vice Chairperson under Mr. Kirby Verret from 1986 to 1990.  Although she stepped down from official service in the 1990s, Ms. Helen was a fixture at tribal events and activities always lending her support and sharing her wisdom and guidance.  She was recognized as a Tribal Pioneer at the 2011 Annual UHN Awards Banquet.

She is survived by her daughter, Helen Ann Bouzigard; sons, Lorris “LJ” Bouzigard, Jr., Clifton Bouzigard and Timothy Bouzigard and his wife Lisa Theriot Bouzigard and extended family Ed Patterson and Ace Toups and Pamela Duke. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Todd Garvin, Billie-Jo Griffin, CheraKee Bouzigard Epperly and husband Thomas Epperly, Jamie Griffin and Timothy Bouzigard, Jr. and eleven great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by parents, John Dardar and Bridgette Williams, her husband Danny Gindrat, her daughter Bridgette Bouzigard Griffin, her sister Rita Dardar Crosby, and her six brothers, Louis, Walter, Frank, Philip, Raymond and Hanna Dardar.