LA – OCEANDOTCOMM, Day 3, PM

1

March 17, 2018 by Dr. G

I wrote ten blog posts documenting my journey at OCEANDOTCOMM. You can find those posts through the tag #odotcomm18.


This afternoon at OCEANDOTCOMM was the most anticipated by everyone here for this gathering – and I mean everyone! It’s not every day you get to travel and meet members of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, receive a tour of their land and invitation to dinner, and then have an open Q&A session.

According to their website, the “Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribal Community is located in lower Pointe-au-Chien, a traditional village of their ancestors, the Chitimacha. The Pointe-au-Chien Indians are also believed to be decendants of the Acolapissa, Atakapas, and Biloxi Indians. The Tribe has approximately 680 members.” We learned this evening that approximately 300-400 tribal members live “below the bridge.”

There are multiple complex issues this community faces. Fortunately, there is an excellent article from Norther Arizona University on Vulnerability of Coastal Louisiana Tribes in a Climate Change Context. The Pointe-au-Chien (PACIT) are the first federally-recognized climate refugees (ironically, it is not climate that is impacting them but sea-level rise (see the PBS NewsHour article/video on In Louisiana, Rising Seas Threaten Native Americans’ Land), and they are not refugees). Their island is protected by a ring levee, but this won’t hold when a hurricane comes through, and the main levee construction exists outside where they would receive protection (and the levee height isn’t up to the 18 feet needed, it is only at 12 feet).

And, this tribe is not yet federally recognized – and neither is their island. This has been an ongoing struggle since 1994, as documented on the U. S. Dept. of Interior’s Indian Affairs – Office of Federal Acknowledgment. Why is recognition important? This will help them as oil companies approach them about laying down a pipe by cutting through their cemetery (yes, you read that correctly).

I really enjoyed hearing stories from Patty to Pete to Laurie – all tribal members. But what was missing from their stories? Hope. Hope for the future. Their tribal children go away for school and do not return home, as there are no jobs and the cost of living is so expensive (especially for insurance). This also means that the younger generation in the tribe is not learning how to fish and catch seafood. They are not learning about traditional medicinal plants. They also are not speaking French, the language of the tribe (they actually have a modified Indian French). Pete is a 20-year old college student that is going to school to earn an environmental degree so he can come back home and help. In his lifetime, he has seen a barrier island disappear, and he wants to see what he can do to restore the environment.

The PACIT cooked us an amazing Louisiana dinner – jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp, crabs… there were 40 of us that they fed and shared their stories. Now, it is up to each of us to continue to tell their story, and to find a way to offer the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe some hope.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These are some images from our time with PACIT. Tribal women were kind enough to show everyone how to extract the meat from the crabs, and allowed us to ask many questions.

 


This blog post was created from OCEANDOTCOMM and supported by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).

One thought on “LA – OCEANDOTCOMM, Day 3, PM

  1. […] we loaded on to a bus and headed over to meet the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe (PACIT). I blogged previously about our visit and the incredible warmth and kindness we received from the tribal members – […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Follow me on Instagram

I'm thrilled to be exhibiting my quilts and crocheted pieces at @jagardens, starting this weekend! It will be the first time my Drawing Down Towards Climate Solutions mini-quilts, plus my Stitching Hope for the Louisiana quilts, PLUS my crocheted temperature data will all be on display at once. For those in southeastern PA, I hope you are able to come out sometime before January 8 to stroll the beautiful arboretum and stop by the art gallery to view these pieces. Admission to the arboretum and gallery is free!
Finished this fun data visualization/quilt top that shares the daily Sky Cover measurements from @joides_resolution #EXP390. As sky cover is recorded in units zero to eight, I chose eight different batik fabrics to represent the scale (the deepest blue batik for the blue sky, and the darkest/black batik for when the sky was completely clouded over, and all shades of blue/grey in-between). As the expedition officially was April 7 thru June 7, 2022, there are 62 pieces of data/batik strips. The background fabric is filled with golden stars for the sky, and the bright gold border is my nod to our port city, where the fabric was purchased.
Thank you @SciHistoryOrg for hosting Start Talking Science 2022 - so great to be able to present alongside other Philly scientists about the work we do to a non-STEM audience of all ages! And a great opportunity to share the mission and how we do science at sea on @theJR #EXP390 #EXP393
Back at @pennlivearts this evening to hear the @blindboysofalabama - so incredible, so inspirational! The new songs were great, but my all-time favorite will always be Amazing Grace sung to The House of the Rising Sun (check it out if you have never heard this innovative mashup).
🎼 I love live New Orleans jazz - and tonight, I didn’t have to go to New Orleans, as the jazz came to me! 🎶 Such a fun concert by @newbreed_brassband. 🎵 The best part - the sousaphone player’s high school band teacher was there & brought his trumpet on stage and joined them for a few songs. 🎺 After the first song, he said he was getting emotional, as he was so proud of the group. I get it, teacher, I’m there with you.
%d bloggers like this: