Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana receives grant to bring sacred items home

(coushatta repatriation)
Updated: Sep. 26, 2018 at 5:25 PM CDT
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KINDER, LA (KPLC) -The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana is one of four Native American tribes recognized in Louisiana.

The tribe has received a grant from the government to help them bring sacred items back to their land.

Of the four federally recognized Native American tribes in Louisiana, the Coushatta is the first to receive a grant from the National Park Services.

“It’s an acknowledgement about the resilience, the perseverance, and the identity in who we are as a people, as Coushatta people,” Chairman of the Tribe David Sickey said. “We have been around for thousands of years and it signals that here’s a small tribe in Allen Parish that is still thriving that is still significant.”

Since the Coushatta people are recognized as a sovereign nation, the money is considered a direct transfer of funds from one government to another.

“These funds are for the Coushatta government to use as we see fit,” Sickey said. “What we will do is take these funds and instruct our tribal historic preservation office and other cultural related staff and the tribe to deploy those resources.”

The tribe received more than $14,000 under the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act.

“Repatriation means we could also bring these artifacts back to our ancestral, traditional homelands," Sickey said.

The tribe has already identified a number of items on the federal registry that are sacred to the Coushatta Tribe. Now they have a chance to bring them home.

“Where they will be protected, monitored for many more generations to come,” Sickey said.

Sickey says he hopes people will get a chance to see the true beauty of a thriving, modern day Native American tribe.

“Grants and resources from the government such as this will help us educate our own tribal people, but also help us educate the non-Indian public about the Coushatta history culture, traditions and also our modern day impact and contributions,” Sickey said.

The process of repatriating sacred items can take months and sometimes even years.

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