Just as the website was going live, Vice Principal Chief Lora Ann Chaisson from Point aux Chene and I were in Washington, DC for some very important meetings to advance and network our Tribe on a national level. From March 10-13, we met with members of Congress to continue our advocacy efforts towards federal recognition and participated in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Legislative Conference. Ms. Chaisson and I both left DC feeling productive. We reminded our legislators the importance of federal recognition for our people, reconnected with many of our tribal friends and supporters and identified some new potential partners and opportunities to strengthen programs for tribal citizens.
I would like to personally thank Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Bill Cassidy for their warm reception and taking time out their busy schedules to meet with us personally and Senator Vitter for including us in his constituent coffee meeting. Also, we are so appreciative of the Congressional staffers of the House and Senate who were generous with their time. Additionally, thank you to Jessica Duggan, Attorney, and Josh Pitre, Tribal Advocate, both with Dentons, LLC as well as proud tribal citizens. Jessica and Josh coordinate the pro bono work provided by Dentons to assist our Tribe in our federal recognition efforts. I had the opportunity and privilege to work side-by-side with Josh last week and I am so very proud to have him up in DC working on our behalf.
The Tribe's efforts towards federal acknowledgement has been long as many of you know, and there is still much more work to be done. Please know we continue the fight and appreciate you our citizens and supporters for your commitment to it. When asked you never disappoint and rise to assist in the fight. I ask that you stand ready and I make the commitment to you to keep you updated on our progress as well as how you can help.
Thomas Dardar, Jr., Principal Chief
pictured below: Josh Pitre with Dentons, LLC and Principal Chief Thomas Dardar