In the middle of all the Katrina 10 events taking place around the region, Mother Nature reminds us who is really in charge. Hurricane Danny is being closely monitored for any potential impacts to our communities. At this point, our contacts with the state's emergency preparedness system are keeping us well informed with hourly updates on Danny's status. As our people know from years of experience living along the Gulf Coast, now is not a time to panic as many tropical events will change in direction, strength and size many times before ever reaching any area of concern. However, I would urge everyone to take this time to check your supplies and make sure you have a hurricane game plan. ..
Earlier this year, tribal leaders began having discussions with Terrebonne Parish School Board about its plans for the now unoccupied Daigleville School located at 8245 Main Street, Houma, Louisiana. The school, one of several located throughout tribal communities, first opened its doors in 1962 and was the first Indian School prior to the Civil Rights act of 1965 that allowed UHN tribal citizens to graduate from high school. The Daigleville School has been vacant for the last 10 years. ..
Tomorrow is the 5-year mark of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. I would encourage all of us to reflect not only on the event, but what we have learned from it and where we are today as the FIRST people living along the coast of southeast Louisiana. As the then Principal Chief elect, I vividly remember hearing the news announcements and recognizing immediately that it would be a significant event for our people. Five years later that expectation has come true and we still remain uncertain of the long-term effects and likely will not for many years to come unfortunately. ..
Over the last several months I have been sharing with you all my intentions to plan and coordinate a tribal men's retreat. I am excited and pleased to invite our tribal men to participate in a day of brotherhood and celebration on Saturday, October 25, 2014. I will be hosting this day filled with traditional outdoor activities at my home in Houma. ..
Last week we announced that the UHN enrollment rolls would be closing effective October 1, 2014. Today I want to clarify that the closing is conditional. Applications for children ages 4 and under of enrolled parents will still be accepted. The closing is not an attempt to punish anyone; it is an attempt to ensure large growth of the tribal roll is not used as a barrier in processing our federal recognition petition. ..
UHN representatives attended the Region VI EPA Environmental Justice Workshop in Houston, Texas from August 6th-8th. Our representatives were able to interact with other communities of color and poverty that are experiencing horrific environmental conditions and intrusions throughout Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as well as the EPA staff that oversees environmental justice and tribal relations. Workshops focused on how best communities can organize and advocate for their rights, how to be represented and influence land use planning, identifying environmental health risks, the over-population of refineries and chemical releasing plants to minority communities, and identifying community risk from ports, transport and hauling of environmental toxins in and through vulnerable communities. ..
I feel sadden, disheartened and ultimately resolved to share with you my observations of the harm diabetes is causing in our communities. A tribal elder passed on this week after living with diabetes for a number of years. The condition had been waging war with her for many years and seemed to take more and more from her as the years rolled by. Near the end of her life her physician had recommended amputation; however, knowing her time on Earth was nearing its end, she was determined to enter her afterlife intact and whole. I was awed by the strength and determination of my elder to maintain control of her physical body til the end. ..
It was an honor and pleasure to represent our citizens this week as our Tribal Council sought the support of the Parish Council's where our citizens reside. In both Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes this week the Parish Councils passed resolutions in support of the UHN's federal recognition efforts by unanimous seconds. Each Council during their discussions, shared their acknowledgement and recognition of the rich culture the Tribe brings to the parishes. ..