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ELTON, LA (KPLC) -
Coushatta tribal members, young and old, recognized their progress as a tribe on Tuesday, as author Dr. Denise Bates visited the tribe.
Bates, a professor at Arizona State University, includes the Coushatta tribe in her recent book "The Other Movement: Indian Rights and Civil Rights in the Deep South."
She addressed the issues Native Americans of the south faced years ago and the issues they face today. But she also discussed the progression of several southern tribes, specifically the Coushatta tribe.
Former Coushatta Chairman Ernest Sickey has worked for years to make others aware of the tribe and to better establish the tribe. He says he takes pride in the tribe. He said he knows that progress will continue.
Bates mentioned the tribe's efforts to preserve the Koasati language as a great example of the tribe's progression and preservation of culture.
In a panel discussion, gaming was also discussed as the primary source of economic growth. Sickey and Bates stated that in the past, their hopes of recognition were just dreams, but with the money from gaming, they are now able to put things into action.
We will have more from the Coushatta tribe on later editions of 7 News.
The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana was officially 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.
The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana owns and operates Coushatta Casino Resort, which employs more than 2,700 area residents. For more information, visit www.coushattatribela.org.