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Crossing over the Bridge (Program Nine in
The Houma Nation, Louisiana - 'The
Houma Indian Nation Crisis'
Panel Guests: Dr. Michael Robichaux MD., Clarice
Friloux & R.J. Molinere & Investigative Journalist
Streaming Broadcast: March 8, 2012 (Original Broadcast March 25, 2011)
CROSSING OVER THE BRIDGE provides the force and dynamic
to bring people together head-to-head, body-to-body and heart-to-heart from both sides of the universal gate. The ever evolving
conscious human being now becomes inspired to realize the full potential of their world through reaching for that higher dimension;
a higher level of consciousness and awareness for the connection to our world and nature. They are to come together now in
acknowledging the fear of those left behind in chaotic circumstances grabbing hold in the final moments for a system hinged
upon monetary gain and out dated principles that have now run their full course in the time line of history. This paradigm
developed through communicative desires and the real integrity of media now brings the darkness to the light through forgiveness,
understanding and a mirror to the hearts of all humankind walking this dimension and beyond. The programs through radio, television
and face-to-face open disclosure allows all humans to complete the process of ascension; an evolutionary step available for
those ready to surrender old-age notions that have been induced by the conditioning of countless generations trapped in confusion
of real sovereignty and lives driven not by heart but of predatory greed.
"Every single person on this planet and beyond
be they carpenter, farmer, teacher, artist, writer, traveler or leader in community, now unknowingly or perhaps consciously
- fast approaches one point - one place - one plane and one true love. Each with the right to synchrony and harmony - sharing
the common journey to a converging wye in the road of history - creating in unison the world we all now know awaits us in
becoming whole in universal destiny. In the event that this will no doubt succeed for future generations, I seek to devote
heart and soul towards leaving a historic record of the greatest feat that is now manifesting for mankind and complete universal
alignment." David William Gibbons - Los Angeles, California October 2010
The United Houma Nation, Louisiana - 'The Houma Indian
The Houma Indians had been driven to the most isolated
swamplands on this continent to find a place where they could independently maintain their Indian ways of life, language,
medicine, arts, traditions and ceremonies. It would be hard for one to imagine the struggles the Houmas would face and be
forced to endure in the years to follow before gaining state and federal recognition. The first written, historical mention
of the Houmas occurred in 1682, when French explorer LaSalle noted a Houma village on the east bank of the Mississippi River
opposite the Red River, near what is now West Feliciana Parish, LA. The total population of the tribe was estimated at between
six hundred and seven hundred members at the time of the first encounter. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, about
half the tribe died of disease introduced through contact with the Europeans.
The boundary line marker of
the Houmas and the Bayougoulas Indians who lived to the south, was a tall red pole, topped with a bear head and several fish
heads. This marked the hunting grounds for the two tribes. When the French first saw it, they referred to it as "le Baton
Rouge". The Houmas had many ways to obtain their food. The men were hunters and used the blow gun, made of local
cane reeds, for small game such as turkey and rabbit. Darts were also made of bamboo. He became quite skilled with this weapon. For
larger game, he used the bow and arrow, and the spear. Arrow points and spearheads were made from shell, also of stone and
flint which were traded from the Indians to the north. Tomahawks were made of shell and stone. Sharp shells were used as knives,
as were flint and sharp stones.
The Houmas worked community fields, sometimes up to several acres in size.
Here they would grow such crops as melons, pumpkins, beans, and several varieties of corn. The women did the planting. To
break up soil, she fashioned a hoe in the ground with a stick, dropped in a seed and covered it over by hand. At harvest time
she gathered the crops and stored them in community bins. These were built on stilts about 12 feet high and were kept highly
polished to keep the rats away. The Houmas spoke the Muskhogean language. Their language was used by most of the tribes
in south Louisiana because it was easier to speak. As the white man came in, they adopted the French tongue and eventually
English. The red crawfish was the war emblem of the Houmas, although they were not warlike people. It helped identify
them from other tribes.
As far as we know, the dugout pirogue was the only kind of boat the Houma used. Before
advent of the steel ax, the Indian felled a cypress tree by fire. He then made another fire to eat through the other end.
Still another fire was kept going in the middle to eat away at the insides until the desired width and depth was achieved. Because
of conflicts with the Tunica Indians and colonial tensions between the French and English, the Houmas began migrating south.
By the late eighteenth century, the Houmas had settled in what is now Terrebonne Parish. They gradually occupied the bayou
marshlands from Dularge in Terrebonne Parish to Golden Meadow in Lafourche Parish. Some took up farming, and many others took
up hunting, trapping, and fishing in their struggle to survive. Many of their descendants continue in these occupations today,
living in or near the same places where their ancestors lived. Houmas have traditionally maintained close kinship and friendships,
and are tied to members in other areas through their extended families.
The children of the Houma tribe from
the isolated rural areas of south Louisiana were educationally under-served for over two centuries. During the first half
of the twentieth century, and well into the 1960's the Houmas were still struggling for the right to have their own schools.
Denied admission to public schools, many remained largely uneducated until 1963, when they received access to public school
on an equal basis. The tribe continues to struggle to overcome the disparities resulting from inexplicably long years of educational
neglect. Throughout the struggles over land, education and trapping rights both the tribe and friendly whites appealed
to the federal government for help. However, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has continued to ignore its responsibility to these
Indian people. Its failure to acknowledge the Houmas continues to cripple the tribe by excluding it from the full range of
federal services to which it is entitled. The United Houma Nation, Inc., the governing body of today's Houma's, compiled a
petition for the federal recognition of the tribe. The tribe awaits the decision of the tribe's petition for federal recognition
with growing anxiety.
1682 Lasalle notes existence of Houma tribe at intersection
of Mississippi River and Red River. 1685 Tonti records first European-Houma contact 1699 Houma tribe visited by
Iberville 1706 Large numbers of Houmas perish in Tunica massacre. Segment of Houma tribe moves south from Angola area. 1718 Houmas negotiate peace between Chitimacha and the French. 1723 Tunica and Natchez tribes seek peace with the Houmas. 1763 Peace Treaty of Parish places Houmas hunting grounds under control of the English and villages in Spanish territory. 1765 Houma and Alabama warriors raid the British fort Bute, at Manchac, during the waning days of the Pontiac rebellion. 1766 Houma tribe moves south from Donaldsonville. 1774 Mississippi east bank Houma village is sold to Conway and Latil. 1800 Houmas begin to move to present location in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish. 1803 U.S. buys large tract of land
from France: the Louisiana Purchase Daniel Clark reports only 60 Houmas remaining above New Orleans. 1806 John Sibley
reports to the U.S. Secretary of State that Houmas “scarcely exist as a nation.” 1811 Author H.M. Brackenridge
writes that Houmas “extinct”. Houma Chiefs (including Louis Savage) meet with W.C.C. Claiborne, governor
of the Louisiana Territory, to formalize relations with the United States. 1814 Houma tribe files land claim with U.S.
government. 1821 John J. Audubon mentions presence of Houmas in Southern Louisiana. 1832 The death of Louis Savage,
famous Houma Chief and maternal uncle of Rosalie Courteaux. 1834 The town of Houma, Louisiana is founded, named after
the Houma Indian village in the vicinity. 1840 The Houmas southern migration was at an end. 1859 Rosalie Courteaux
purchases “large amount” of land for Houma tribe. 1870-80’s Houma spread west from Lafourche Parish
and Terrebonne Parish to St. Mary Parish. 1883 The death of Rosalie Courteaux heroine and matriarch of the Houma People. The seven principal Houma settlements at the beginning of the twentieth century were: DuLarge, Dulac, Montegut, Point Barre,
Point au Chene, Isle de jean Charles, Grand Bois and Golden Meadow. 1907 John Swanton “re-discovers” the
Houmas. 1918 Henry Billiot loses his court challenge to enter his children in public school. This was the first,
recorded, formal assault by the tribe on the Terrebonne parish School System. 1920 Houma tribe begins to seek federal
recognition. 1931-40 Houma tribe contacted and “studied” by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officials and
anthropologist Nash, Underhill, Meyer, and Speck. 1932 Protestant education mission schools open for Indian students
in Terrebonne at Dulac, DuLarge, and Pointe-aux-Chene. 1935 The dedication service for Clanton Chapel in Dulac, “the
only Indian church in Louisiana” at the time. 1940-48 Parochial and public elementary schools open for Indian students
in Terrebonne Parish Late 1950’s Houmas are allowed to attend Indian schools up to the seventh grade. 1960
Stoutenburgh lists Houmas as “extinct”. 1963 Houma children admitted to public schools. 1963 Frank
Naquin, the community leader in Golden Meadow, sends Helen Gindrat and Delores Terrebonne to the American Indian conference
in Chicago. This event would become the catalyst for the modern political movements in the Houma community. 1972
Houma Tribes, Inc. is established at Golden Meadow in Lafourche Parish. 1974 Houma Alliance, Inc. is established at Dulac
in Terrebonne Parish. First Title V Indian Education program is funded in Lafourche & Terrebonne parish. 1975
Houma tribe joins with other Indian tribes of Louisiana to form the Inter-tribal Council. 1975 – present United
Houma Nation administers grants & job training programs in association with Inter-tribal Council. 1979 First formal
meeting of the United Houma nation Tribal council after the merger of the Houma Tribe and the Houma Alliance. 1985 United
Houma Nation files petition for federal recognition. 1986 United Houma Nation under the leadership of Chairman Kirby
Verret and Vice-Chairwoman Helen Gindrat 1990 Tribal roll books closed. Only newborns can be registered. 1991 BIA
places United Houma Nation on active status. 1992 Laura Billiot elected Chairwoman of United Houma Nation. 1993
Tribal enrollment numbers 17,000. 1994 United Houma Nation receives negative proposed findings. 1996 United Houma
Nation files rebuttal to negative proposed findings. 1997- 2011 United Houma Nation under the leadership of Brenda Dardar
Robichaux, Chairwoman and Michael Dardar, Vice-Chairman. 1999 The Houma Tribal Council meets with a delegation of French
Senators. Principal chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux is presented with a medal from the French Government, becoming the first
“Medal Chief” since the colonial period. 1996-present United Houma Nation awaits its final determination
from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
19, 2011 Thomas Dardar Jr. sworn in as new principal chief of the United Houma Nation. He takes over from Brenda Dardar Robichaux
after 13 years.
United Houma Nation Website
Oilfield Waste - Grand Bois
Courtesy Emily Schwarze Daily Comet
Dr. Michael Robichaux MD
Following his graduation from Louisiana State University,
where he was a walk-on all Southeastern Conference defensive end on the LSU football team, Dr. Mike Robichaux attended medical
school and was an honor graduate of Louisiana State University Medical School in 1971. While still in medical school, and
as president of an honorary scholastic society, he published a paper on the price on prescription medicines and is still writing
on the subject today. He was honored with membership in AOA, the only national honor society for medicine in the United
States. He finished medical school in three and one half years and co-pioneered a new, accelerated program for graduates.
In 1975, he entered into private
practice and has been active in the practice of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat).
Dr. Mike served in the Louisiana National Guard between 1971 and 1980 and received a commendation
for volunteer work while in the National Guard. He was co-founder and president of a good government group called the Alliance
of Concerned Citizens. This organization was credited with assisting in the conviction of several public officials who
eventually went to federal prison. The Alliance of Concerned Citizens was awarded a citation by the director of
the FBI and the Department of Justice for its role in curtailing corruption in his community. Dr. Mike served in the
Louisiana Senate for 5 years where he became a champion of the environment and working class citizens of our state. He
is currently working on projects concerning the price and safety of prescription medicines and is actively studying the plight
of the coastal environment of Louisiana. Dr. Mike’s wife, Brenda, recently retired as Principle Chief of the United
Houma Nation, a 17,000 member Native American tribe which is located primarily in South Louisiana. Approximately 8,000
tribal members were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and Mike and Brenda’s home has served as an office, residence
for volunteers and service center for victims of the storms. http://www.unitedhoumanation.org
Dr. Mike and Brenda live in their home in Raceland, Louisiana along
with their daughter Felicite, 12 cats and a dog named Lucy. Dr. Mike has raised 9 children and is the proud grandfather
of 6 beautiful grandchildren.
Clarice Friloux - Grand Bois, Lousiana
Clarice Friloux is from the Houma Tribe of Native
Peoples and has openly fought to have the waste of the oil industry dealt with, primarily because it is often dumped in her
backyard. South of New Orleans, in the black-marsh country of the Louisiana delta, lies a town called Grand Bois, too
small for most maps. About 250 people, mainly of Native American and Cajun descent, live in modest aluminum-sided houses along
State Route 24, which connects Bourg, 3 miles west, to Larose, 13 miles east. The town straddles two parishes, Lafourche and
Terrebonne, where churches have names like Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and Mardi Gras parades are staggered so parishioners
can attend more of them. Murky bayous teem with alligators, catfish, and crawfish, and the immense live oak trees, cloaked
thickly with Spanish moss, are a sight to see.
Bois has little or no crime. Occasionally a wildlife officer will cite one of the kids for going over his limit duck-hunting.
Yet an immense crime has taken place here. One day in March 1994, eight tractor-trailers loaded with hazardous waste
streamed into town. They were headed for a treatment facility on land leased to Campbell Wells Corporation (now U.S. Liquids),
which consisted of 16 open pits dug to process toxic sludge from oil fields. They were the first of an army of trucks that
came and went, while contract employees stirred the sludge back and forth with gigantic egg beaters until it evaporated or
leached into the ground. Employees called what they did to the waste "working it over." Clarice Friloux has fought
for many years as an advocate to remove the operation from the area.
RJ Molinere Jr. is a powerful man, in body and
in spirit. He is a Native American and a member of the United Houma nation. Since he was old enough to pole a boat through
the marsh, RJ has been making a living off the land, the same way his ancestors have done for thousands of years. RJ's seasons
aren't summer, winter, spring or fall—his seasons are all about the game he's hunting: alligator, catfish, nutria, crab
and shrimp. RJ hunts gator with his son, Jay Paul, and the two are the best of friends. RJ raised Jay Paul to follow in his
footsteps—both in and out of the swamp. Both have hunted gators all their lives, and both are championship fighters.
RJ is a two-time world champion arm wrestler and Jay Paul is a two-time Golden Gloves boxing champion. Together
they are a formidable new team on the bayou—and they're ready to give the veterans a run for their money.
EcoRigs - 'An Underwater Paradox in the Gulf of Mexico'
Guest: In Discussion's Investigative Journalist Patrick
Patrick J. O’Brien Veteran Investigative Journalist
who has worked in the Broadcast & Advertising industries for over 40-years. O’Brien began his career in TV
and radio news as an investigative journalist. O’Brien recently worked
for FRN, providing news to 55-radio stations in Florida. Pat has worked
for two of the top three advertising agencies in Florida managing 100’s of advertising account
budgets over his career. O’Brien is credited for creating Wendy’s “Where’s
the Beef?” in the mid-‘80’s. O’Brien owned and operated
a 25M dollar advertising agency in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, pioneered all night
local TV in Miami in the early 70’s. Mr. O’Brien has hosted “Talk” radio programs in Wilmington,
NC, Daytona, Orlando and Ft Lauderdale/Miami, FL. O’Brien has
built a reputation as an innovative entrepreneur. He now invests time in
long term research as an investigative journalist and is well respected for charting the Deepwater
Horizon crisis in 2010 featured on the DG Network programming “In Discussion.”