Louisiana Governor Edwards Declares October 14 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Commends His Efforts

Press Release

ELTON, LOUISIANA (September 21, 2019) – Louisiana Governor John Bel. Edwards recently declared Monday, October 14, 2019 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana commends Governor Edwards and thanks him for his efforts to support Native Americans in Louisiana.

“The purpose of Indigenous People’s Day is to shine a light upon the incredible legacy of the indigenous people of this land and of this beautiful idea we call America,” said Coushatta Tribal Chairman David Sickey. “It is a celebratory moment not to imprison us but to inform us, to guide us and to educate us as to the contributions that the First Americans have made to our country.”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated in Louisiana on the second Monday in October. In 2019, Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be recognized October 14.

“I am proud to proclaim Indigenous Peoples’ Day to recognize the contributions of Native Americans in Louisiana.” said Gov. Edwards. “My administration has prioritized working with the tribes through our Office of Indian Affairs to award scholarships and establish the Native American Commission to ensure issues important to Native Americans in Louisiana get the attention they deserve.”

The proclamation notes a growing number of cities in the United States that have recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a re-imaging to Columbus Day. The idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day came about in Berkeley, California in 1992 when a celebration made residents question the Columbus “legacy.”

For more information about the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, please contact Katie Arvie at (337) 584-1545 or karvie@coushatta.org.

###About the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
After many years and hardships, including being illegally “terminated” without legislation during the Eisenhower administration, the Coushatta Tribe was officially re-recognized by the United States 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 still spoken as a first language in the Coushatta community today.

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana owns and operates Coushatta Casino Resort, which employs more than 2,700 area residents. For more information about the Tribe, visit
www.koasatiheritage.org. For more information about the Coushatta Casino Resort, visit www.coushattacasinoresort.com