Coushatta Tribe Leaders Return from Trade Mission to Israel - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Coushatta Tribe Leaders Return from Trade Mission to Israel

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David Sickey and Ambassador Shapiro David Sickey and Ambassador Shapiro

The following is a press release from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana:

ELTON, LA (November 7, 2011) – Leaders of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana recently returned from a U.S. Department of Commerce Louisiana Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel that they believe will play a critical role in the Tribe's ongoing economic development and diversification efforts.

Coushatta Tribe Member-of-Council David Sickey led the Tribe's delegation, which was part of a group that included 11 Southwest Louisiana/Gulf Coast companies and organizations. The Louisiana Trade Mission to Israel was organized by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Commerce and supported and attended by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

"Taking part in this trade mission was very important for the Tribe because we have a strong and fruitful relationship with the State of Israel that we are interested in continuing and expanding," said Sickey. "Though we are already working with several Israeli companies, we continue to seek new business connections and explore new ways to diversify our investment portfolio."

While on the trade mission, the Tribe's delegation met with a number of Israeli business leaders, as well as Israeli and U.S. officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.

"Learning more about opportunities in the oil and gas industry made sense for us, considering that our Tribal lands are located near the heart of oil and gas production in Louisiana," explained Sickey. "All in all, it was a wonderful experience that we believe will lead to additional business opportunities in the near future."

 Earlier this year, Coushatta Global Enterprises LLC, a wholly owned entity of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, became the exclusive U.S. distributor of all-natural, Galilean olive oil-based skin care products from Israeli company, Aya Natural. The Coushatta Tribe began an outreach initiative to Israel almost three years ago, when they became the first Native American tribe to recognize, honor, and welcome official representatives of the State of Israel.

For more information on the trade mission, Coushatta Global Enterprises, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana or Aya Natural, contact David Sickey, Coushatta Member of Council, at 337-584-1545.

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About the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana was officially re-recognized by the Federal government in 1973 and marked a major turning point in tribal history in 1985 with the election by popular vote of the first Coushatta tribal government.

From their earliest days as a proud, hard-working people struggling to maintain long-standing traditions in the face of possible relocation, the Coushatta Indians have endured and overcome every hardship they have faced and have remained on tribal lands in and around Elton, Louisiana, since the 1800s. Despite serious setbacks and some population dispersal, the tribe's character and ideals have not only held fast, but have been strengthened. The Coushatta language, Koasati, is now considered unique among Native Americans because it has survived in its purest form and is still spoken fluently in the Coushatta community today.

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana owns and operates Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, La., which employs more than 2,700 area residents.

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