NOCGS Indigenous Symposium 2022
Sassafras, Stickball and Stories:
Indigenous Cultures of the Gulf South

4th Annual New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium

March 18-19, 2022 Kendall Cram, Tulane University


  • Sassafras, Stickball, and Stories: Indigenous Cultures of the Gulf South

    March 18-19, 2022 Kendall Cram, Tulane University

    We acknowledge that the land upon which New Orleans sits was once called Balbancha; Choctaw for “a place of foreign languages” and was commonly used by many nations such as the Acolapissa, Bayagoula, Chitimacha, Choctaw, Biloxi, Houma, and Tunica. In the surrounding area, along the Mississippi River, were the Natchez, the Taensas, and the Chawasha and Washa among other Tribes. Tribes continued to come and to trade on this land and also settled on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain (Choctaw) and along the waterways in Lafourche and Terrebonne (Chitimacha). Indeed, there are several Tribes who live in this region now including but not limited to the Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Chitimacha, Choctaw, Biloxi Tribe, the United Houma Nation, and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe.

    This territory has always been a polyglot place and since contact has seen numerous people from all over the world arrive and settle here, sometimes of their own volition and sometimes by force, including some Indigenous People who were enslaved by colonizers. Indigenous People have lived here continuously for many centuries and New Orleans, is now, as always, a highly cosmopolitan territory with all kinds of overlapping sovereignties and fidelities.

    Call for Proposals


    Program Committee:

    • Robert Caldwell, Ph.D., Choctaw-ApacheTribe of Ebarb
    • Lora Ann Chaisson, United Houma Nation
    • Jeffery Darensbourg, Ph.D. Atakapa-Ishak Nation
    • Denise Frazier, Ph.D. NOCGS, Tulane University
    • Laura D. Kelley, Ph.D. Tulane University
    • Jason Lewis, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
    • Judith Maxwell, Ph.D. Tulane University, Etowah
    • Chris Rodning, Ph.D. Tulane University
    • Rebecca Snedeker, NOCGS, Tulane University
  • Schedule Please note we are considering filming these sessions.

    8:30

    Registration:

    Coffee and Tribal Display

    8:45

    Registration:

    Territorial Acknowledgement

    9:00

    Opening Remarks:

    John Barbry, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana

    9:15 – 10:15

    Artistic and Material Culture:

    Applying Fire to Earth: Contemporary Evolution of Caddo Ceramics

    Chad and Chase Earles, Caddo Nation

    10:15 – 11:15

    History:

    The Role of US Boarding Schools in American Indian Dispossession

    Brenda Child, University of Minnesota, Red Lake Ojibwe
    &

    The Educational Experiences of Being Indigenous in Louisiana

    Principal Chief Edward Chretien Jr., Atakapa Ishak Nation

    11:15 – 11:30

    Break:

    11:30 – 12:30

    Language Panel:

    Sustaining Culture Through Language
    Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Koasati Language:

    Bertney & Linda Langley, Eli Langley
    &

    Tunica- Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Tunica Language:

    Elisabeth Pierite-Mora, Donna Pierite, Teyanna Pierite

    12:30 – 1:30

    Lunch: LBC, Tulane

    Lunch provided for panelists

    1:30

    Afternoon Opening Remarks:

    1:45 – 2:45

    Contemporary Issues:

    Andrew Jolivétte, Atakapa Ishak Nation

    2:45 – 3:00

    Break

    3:00 – 4:00

    Roundtable:

    Indigenous Voices: Foodways

    Moderator: Robert Caldwell, Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb

    Panel:
    Lora Ann Chaisson, United Houma Nation
    Cougar Goodbear, Canneci N’de Band of Lipan Apache
    Loretta Oden, Citizen Potawatomi Nation

    4:00 – 5:00

    Ongoing Projects: Research and Engagement Opportunities

    Looking Forward to Preserve the Past and to Nourish the Present

    Project and Presenter:

    Caddo Traditional Home Building and Sacred Mounds

    Phil Cross, Caddo Nation
    Jeffrey Williams, President Friends of Caddo Mounds nonprofit organization
    &

    Bayou Lacombe Choctaws and collaborations with Bayou Lacombe Museum

    Scierra LeGarde, Bayou Lacombe Choctaw
    Karen Raymond, President of Bayou Lacombe Museum

    5:00

    Closing Remarks

  • Presenters & Symposium Organizers:


    Organizers

    • Laura D. Kelley

      Laura D. Kelley, Indigenous Symposium Laura D. Kelley is an immigrant and ethnic historian at Tulane University and the Program Director of Tulane’s Summer in Dublin Program. She is also the section editor for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities KNOWLA Project and has published articles in Louisiana History as well as online collections. Her book,

      The Irish in New Orleans

      , released in October 2014, was the winner of the bronze medal in the Regional Non-Fiction category of the Independent Publisher Awards- IPPY- as well as a finalist for the INDIEFAB award. She is the recipient of numerous grants which have supported her research examining immigrant and ethnic communities in New Orleans as well as Indigenous communities in Southern Louisiana. Dr. Kelley has been researching the history of Native American Tribes of Southern Louisiana as well as working directly with them on a variety of projects for over a decade. Her fifteen-year collaboration with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, a community partner of Tulane University, has resulted in numerous projects with topics ranging from coastal erosion to foodways. She is currently completing her second manuscript on the Irish, “The Greening of New Orleans” as well as “We the People: Native Americans, Europeans, Anglo-Americans, and the Complex History of Southern Louisiana from Colonial Times to the Present.” For more information please visit

      www.lauradkelley.com

      .
    • Rebecca Snedeker

      Rebecca Snedeker, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium Rebecca Snedeker is the James H. Clark Executive Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University. Prior to this position, she cultivated a body of narrative work that supports human rights, creative expression, and care for place in her native city, New Orleans. Works include

      Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

      (co-authored with Rebecca Solnit, University of California Press, 2013) and several feature documentary films, including

      Land of Opportunity

      (producer, ARTE, 2010),

      Witness: Katrina

      (producer, National Geographic Channel, 2010), and

      By Invitation Only

      (producer/director, PBS, 2007). Snedeker has served on the Steering Committee of New Day Films and the boards of the New Orleans Film Society and Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. She graduated from Wesleyan University and is the recipient of an Emmy Award for “Historical Programming – Long Form” and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    • Denise Frazier

      Denise Frazier, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South
      Denise Frazier: An interest in Cuban politics and African Diaspora culture within Latin America led her to New Orleans where she received an MA and PhD in Latin American Studies at Tulane University. Frazier’s graduate studies in Cuba and Brazil aligned with her interest in contemporary music, specifically hip hop, and public performance. Frazier frequently plays violin with performance organizations and musicians around the city. She has performed with several local New Orleans musicians and performances artists. Frazier has taught several university-level courses, including: Spanish, Latin American Studies, and African Diaspora-related courses on the university level at Tulane University, Xavier University, Wofford College, and Southern University of New Orleans. She has lectured and presented seminars and workshops on diversity, African Diaspora culture, contemporary music and performance all around the country. She has also worked with various advocacy groups and non-profit organizations in New Orleans, for instance a college access and completion program organization called: College Track and Make Music NOLA, a music and performance program for local New Orleans students. Frazier is currently the Assistant Director for the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University.


    Presenters

    • John D. Barbry

    • Robert Caldwell

    • Lora Ann Chaisson

    • Brenda Child

    • Phil Cross

    • Chad Earles

    • Chase Earles

    • Cougar Goodbear

    • Bertney & Linda Langley

    • Eli Langley

    • Loretta Oden

    • Donna Pierite

    • Elisabeth Pierite-Mora

    • Teyanna Pierite

    • Jeffrey Williams


    Program Committee

    • Robert Caldwell

      Robert Caldwell, Indigenous Symposium Tulane UniversityRobert Caldwell currently teaches U.S. History and Louisiana History at SOWELA Technical Community College. Prior to that he was a Library Digitization Specialist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Arlington where he completed his doctorate in Transatlantic History in August 2018. His wide-ranging academic and research interests include Native American and Indigenous Studies, cartographic history, foodways, labor and migration, as well as Empires and Revolutions. Robert’s first book explores the culinary culture of the Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb. His 2018 dissertation, “Indians in their Proper Place: Culture Areas, Linguistic Stocks, and the Genealogy of a Map” explores 150 years of thematic maps of American Indian homelands, languages, and culture. The manuscript is now under contract with University of Nebraska Press.
    • Lora Ann Chaisson

      Lora Ann Chaisson, a citizen of the United Houma Nation (UHN), is employed with Tribal Solutions Group where she is an Associate. Active in her community and throughout Indian Country. Lora Ann has been a member of the UHN Tribal Council since 2005. She currently serves on the Government Committee and Personnel Committee and has also served as UHN delegate to the National Congress of American Indians for twelve years and was the former Vice-Principal Chief of UHN.

      Lora Ann is a new member of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Native American Employment and Training Council. She has also worked with the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana/Institute for Indian Development, a regional Workforce Investment Board, for 25 years, and currently serves as a board member and representative for Native Americans. She is also a proud alumnus of the American Indian Opportunity Ambassador Program, a national organization that provides capacity building and leadership development for Native American professionals looking to grow their communities.

      Lora Ann is the daughter of Theo and the late Betty Chaisson and is a part-owner of Isle de Jean Charles Marina, Inc. During her free time, she enjoys teaching friends and family about traditional Houma cooking and makes unique pieces of jewelry from the hide of the alligator and scales from the alligator garfish. She is also a proud traditional basket weaver. In 2019, was her 38th consecutive year exhibiting at the signature Louisiana event, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. She plans to be there again when it reopens in 2022.

    • Jeffrey Darensbourg

      Jeffrey Darensbourg, Indigenous SymposiumJeffery Darensbourg is a writer, editor, and storyteller who is an enrolled member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Indians of mixed Indigenous, European, and West African ancestry. He is a founding editor of the zine

      Bulbancha Is Still a Place: Indigenous Culture from New Orleans

      . Jeffery is a Fellow of the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a resident of the French Quarter. His 2020 film with Fernando López,

      Hoktiwe: Two Poems in Ishakkoy

      , is currently on display at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans.Photo credit: Benry Fauna
    • Denise Frazier

      Denise Frazier, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium
      Denise Frazier: An interest in Cuban politics and African Diaspora culture within Latin America led her to New Orleans where she received an MA and PhD in Latin American Studies at Tulane University. Frazier’s graduate studies in Cuba and Brazil aligned with her interest in contemporary music, specifically hip hop, and public performance. Frazier frequently plays violin with performance organizations and musicians around the city. She has performed with several local New Orleans musicians and performances artists. Frazier has taught several university-level courses, including: Spanish, Latin American Studies, and African Diaspora-related courses on the university level at Tulane University, Xavier University, Wofford College, and Southern University of New Orleans. She has lectured and presented seminars and workshops on diversity, African Diaspora culture, contemporary music and performance all around the country. She has also worked with various advocacy groups and non-profit organizations in New Orleans, for instance a college access and completion program organization called: College Track and Make Music NOLA, a music and performance program for local New Orleans students. Frazier is currently the Assistant Director for the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University.
    • Laura D. Kelley

      Laura D. Kelley, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium Laura D. Kelley is an immigrant and ethnic historian at Tulane University and the Program Director of Tulane’s Summer in Dublin Program. She is also the section editor for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities KNOWLA Project and has published articles in Louisiana History as well as online collections. Her book,

      The Irish in New Orleans

      , released in October 2014, was the winner of the bronze medal in the Regional Non-Fiction category of the Independent Publisher Awards- IPPY- as well as a finalist for the INDIEFAB award. She is the recipient of numerous grants which have supported her research examining immigrant and ethnic communities in New Orleans as well as Indigenous communities in Southern Louisiana. Dr. Kelley has been researching the history of Native American Tribes of Southern Louisiana as well as working directly with them on a variety of projects for over a decade. Her fifteen-year collaboration with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, a community partner of Tulane University, has resulted in numerous projects with topics ranging from coastal erosion to foodways. She is currently completing her second manuscript on the Irish, “The Greening of New Orleans” as well as “We the People: Native Americans, Europeans, Anglo-Americans, and the Complex History of Southern Louisiana from Colonial Times to the Present.” For more information please visit

      www.lauradkelley.com

      .
    • Jason Lewis

      Jason Lewis, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, NOCGS Indigenous Symposium Jason Lewis is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma but was born and grew up in California. He was active in the Native American community of Los Angeles, and served as Co-Convener for the American Indian Community Council of Los Angeles, 2008-2009. In 2009, he moved to Mississippi to learn the Choctaw language and in return has helped write grants for the Mississippi Choctaw Tribal Language Program; grant outcomes include a Choctaw language curriculum, proficiency assessment tools, and the language teacher certification course for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw (MBCI). Since 2016, he has helped with the implementation of daily Choctaw classes in the MBCI tribal school system. Recently, he helped develop Choctaw language classroom lessons incorporating traditional Choctaw games and activities such as baskata̱chi, achahpi/cha̱ki, oski lho̱pa ho̱ssa, and iti nipa pila. Currently, he is helping conduct Choctaw language interviews across the eight Mississippi Choctaw communities for an NEH Documenting Endangered Languages grant awarded to create a modern Mississippi Choctaw language dictionary. Jason lives in the Pearl River community of Choctaw, Mississippi with his partner, Rebecca, and daughter, Anna’Laiya.
      Jason Lewis, ‘Bachi
    • Judith Maxwell

      Judith Maxwell, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium Judith Maxwell, Etowah Nation, Louise Rebecca Schawe and Williedell Schawe professor of linguistics and anthropology at Tulane, works on language and culture revitalization, bilingual education, pragmatics, and discourse, focusing on Mayan, Uto-Aztecan and Tunican languages. She is founder and director of Oxlajuj Aj, a Kaqchikel Language and Culture program; co-director of Kuhpani Yoyani Luhchi Yoroni, the joint Tunica-Tulane language and culture revitalization project, and consultant to the Ministry of Education Department and Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala.
    • Chris Rodning

      Chris Rodning, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous SymposiumChris Rodning is the Paul and Debra Gibbons Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University. He received an A.B.

      magna cum laude

      in anthropology from Harvard University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. He has published books and papers about the archaeology of the southern Appalachians and the Gulf South on topics such as the architecture and built environment of Native American towns, earthen mounds as monuments and persistent places within dynamic cultural landscapes, gender and status differentiation in Native American communities, and responses by native peoples of the Southeast to European contact and colonialism. His courses at Tulane include “Introduction to Archaeology,” “Ancient Societies,” “North American Prehistory,” “Southeast U.S. Prehistory,” “Archaeology of Cultural Landscapes,” “Disasters and Past Societies,” “Conquest and Colonialism,” and “Archaeology of Gender.”
    • Rebecca Snedeker

      Rebecca Snedeker, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium Rebecca Snedeker is the James H. Clark Executive Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University. Prior to this position, she cultivated a body of narrative work that supports human rights, creative expression, and care for place in her native city, New Orleans. Works include

      Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

      (co-authored with Rebecca Solnit, University of California Press, 2013) and several feature documentary films, including

      Land of Opportunity

      (producer, ARTE, 2010),

      Witness: Katrina

      (producer, National Geographic Channel, 2010), and

      By Invitation Only

      (producer/director, PBS, 2007). Snedeker has served on the Steering Committee of New Day Films and the boards of the New Orleans Film Society and Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. She graduated from Wesleyan University and is the recipient of an Emmy Award for “Historical Programming – Long Form” and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Contact

    New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Tulane University Newcomb Hall Room 112 1229 Broadway St. New Orleans, LA 70119 504-314-2889

    New Orleans Center for the Gulf South

  • Social Media:

    Facebook: Nola Gulf South Facebook: Music Rising at Tulane Twitter: @NOCGS Instagram: Nola Gulf South Tumblr: New Orleans Center for the Gulf South

    Tribal Representation at this year’s symposium:

    Atakapa-Ishak Nation Caddo Nation Canneci N'de Band of Lipan Apache Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana United Houma Nation

    Image Credit: Laura D. Kelley