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.

    March 18th Day One

    8:30

    Registration:

    Coffee and Tribal Display

    8:45 – 9:00

    Territorial Acknowledgment

    9:00 – 9:15

    Opening Remarks

    9:15 – 10:15

    First Session:

    Tribalography: A Thousand Years of Stories from the Southeast

    Panel:
    * LeAnne Howe,

    In my paper, I’ll discuss the ten years I worked on the eighteenth-century history of the Choctaw Confederacy and how that love affair with my tribe’s past grew into the contemporary novel, Shell Shaker. Central to this work was the study of the Mississippi Provincial Archives, Vols I-III, (Press of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History), Mississippi Provincial Archives, French Dominion, vols. IV and V (Louisiana State University Press), the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives, Cyrus Byington’s papers, and the papers and recordings of Frances Densmore. All of these texts were of great importance in piecing the past together around French Louisiana, and for showing me how to write historical fiction about the Choctaws in a contemporary setting, New Orleans, and Oklahoma.

    * Kirstin Squint,

    Building on theories of Indigenous groundwork and author LeAnne Howe’s (Choctaw) vision of embodied tribalography, I will discuss the ways that Howe’s work represents Gulf South spaces, including ancient trade routes, stickball fields, and mound cultures and their legacies. Beginning with her award-winning 2001 novel Shell Shaker, I will analyze Howe’s depictions of trade among eighteen century tribes along the Gulf Coast, and the integral role of the Nanih Waiya, in present-day Winston County Mississippi, as a place Choctaw people gathered for millennia. I will also discuss the relationship between ancient and contemporary ballgames as described in Howe’s 2007 novel, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story. My aim is to demonstrate the ways LeAnne Howe’s work connects Choctaw peoples, wherever they may be, to their Gulf South homelands.

    10:15 – 11:30

    Second Session:

    Moderator: Robert Caldwell, Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb

    The Use of Space, Sport, and Stories in Indigenous Communities Past and Present

    Panel:
    * Guillermo Pupo Pernet,

    My dissertation compares Louisiana and the Orinoco basin in the first half of the 18th century. My primary texts are L’histoire de la Louisiane (1758) written by Antoine Le Page du Partz, and El Orinoco Defendido e Ilustrado (1747) written by Joseph Gumilla. By overlapping travel accounts, maps, archives, and paintings, my research will shed light on how this methodology could teach us more about Indigenous peoples, free(d) Africans, and alliances between them. For this conference, I will compare how Frenchmen understood space in comparison to indigenous peoples. To explain the European definition of space, I will use maps from the first half of the 18th century. To explain indigenous peoples’ purpose of space, I will overlap the film Te Ata (2016) and the following two watercolors.

    * Jason Lewis,

    A narrative of tragedy has long described the plight of the Choctaw who remained in their homelands after the removals initiated with the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. The majority, considered full-blooded, were quickly displaced from their homes, and struggled for nearly two decades for their rights under the treaty. Around 1880, missionaries, and other agents of assimilation, eventually shed enough light on the remaining Choctaw for the U.S. Government to initiate a second effort of removal around the turn of the century. Yet, the period of 1845-1880 remains largely a mystery, with only a couple references suggesting lifeways revolving around farming, hunting, and social gatherings. Digitally searchable newspapers from the 1800s, on the website newspapers.com, are changing the view of this era. Poring through local gazettes and weekly clarions of the American South from the 1800s, it’s clear one activity helped the Choctaw of that period remain vibrant—stickball.

    For this presentation, I have mapped the location of near fifty stickball games, from articles published between 1831 and 1924, and will provide a tour of the game sites using Google Earth. I will also share compelling details about the teams, venues, and games, as reported in the collection of articles. The series of games, a century’s worth, overlapping into the eras of historical visibility, create a narrative that broadens our perspective of the Choctaw in the face of the two great removals, and more importantly, help us see how active Choctaw communities negotiated space throughout their homelands, displaced, but not simply hiding out in swamps, struggling to exist in marginal lands. Details presented here will undoubtedly lead future research threads and should be of high interest to any fans of the pre-eminent Gulf South sport of the 19th century, often advertised as, The Grand Indian Ball-Play.

    * Noel E. Smyth,

    In Oklahoma during the 1930s, the linguistic anthropologist Mary Haas recorded dozens of Natchez oral histories in the Natchez language. Many of the recorded stories are reserved for telling during winter months (when Haas was visiting Oklahoma) and others are meant for children. These winter stories are intended to teach Natchez culture and history to the next generations; however, the stories also give insight into the diasporic history of the Natchez since the eighteenth century. For example, while there are stories that are unique to the Natchez, there are also Creek and Cherokee stories—but told in the Natchez language. There are stories that seem to come from English folklore such as a Jack and the Beanstalk story. Other stories hint of contact with those of African descent, such as a Brer Rabbit story. The multicultural content in these stories provide an entry into understanding Natchez culture in the twentieth century and they also provide insights into Natchez history from earlier periods, particularly in regard to how the Natchez survived by living with multiple Indigenous, African and European groups since the eighteenth century. The paper ends with a discussion of how I work with the contemporary Natchez Nation in Oklahoma, which has allowed me to better translate and understand these Natchez oral stories. I will reflect on the value and importance of working with Native communities today for historical inquiry, and how oral sources, participant observation, and archival analysis can be used in conjunction to better understand the past and to develop ethical scholarly relationships with Native Americans today.

    11:30 – 11:45

    Break

    11:45 – 1:00

    Third Session: Roundtable

    Moderator: Christina Lake

    This roundtable session demonstrates the importance of studying the interactions between the topics of public history/museums and Native communities in the South. Cultural commodification, NPS Section 106 Review, shifts in funding for state and federally recognized tribes, and the role and responsibility that public historians have in working with Native communities are some of the concerns illuminated by these presentations.

    As the Director of Development and Programing for the Tunica-Biloxi Language & Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP), John Barbry will present on the role of the Tunica-Biloxi Museum and the LCRP in communicating the historical relevance of the Tribe in state and regional history. The Tunica-Biloxi outreach and education programming is open to the public as part of local culture and geo-tourism and acts as a resource for perspective and interpretation of its own history and culture. As the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Cultural Director for the Chitimacha Tribe, Kimberly Walden will speak on her work with the NPS Section 106 Review, the relationship with the Tribal Council, and community outreach programming. Both Barbry and Walden will cover their communities’ involvement with museum exhibits, cultural preservation, and how state, federal, and NPO partnerships contribute to and affect their work. Dr. Denise Bates with Arizona State University will speak about the MOWA Band of Choctaw (Alabama) Sustainable Cultural Heritage Project that was recently funded by an ANA (SEDS) grant. The 36-month project is aimed at preserving tribal culture and history by transforming the tribal museum into a vibrant space where cultural and historical resources can be generated, stored, curated, and accessed through community-driven, inter-generational programming and outreach. As a member of the tribal museum’s board of directors and cultural and historical preservation consultant for this project, Bates will highlight the important role and responsibility that public historians have in working with Native communities. Christina Lake with the Hilliard Art Museum and Texas A&M University, who specializes in indigenous studies, public history, and historic preservation, will act as chair and moderator. She will highlight the roles of public historians and NPOs, fielding topics concerning the ongoing collaboration with anthropologists, linguists, historians, and advocacy efforts in the public and private sphere.

    Panelists:
    John Barbry, Denise Bates and Kimberly Walden

    1:00 – 2:00

    Lunch will be provided for presenters

    2:00 – 3:15

    Fourth Session: Roundtable

    The pandemic has been devastating for tribal communities and has exacerbated family functioning, as well as family violence and alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse. Given the chronic and acute stressors of the pandemic and natural disasters, culturally-based family prevention interventions that enhance wellness and resilience while simultaneously addressing violence and AOD abuse among Indigenous peoples of the Southeast are crucial, yet scarce. The purpose of this panel presentation is to describe bidirectional collaboration using community-based participatory research methods (CBPR) with Southeastern Indigenous communities (The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the United Houma Nation) to develop the Chukka Auchaffi’ Natana program (in Choctaw) or Weaving Healthy Families (WHF) program. We describe the content and development of this culturally grounded program to prevent violence and AOD use in families while promoting wellness and resilience and showcase the cultural elements that are integral to the program including: traditional indigenous foods, health, and nutrition, the medicine wheel, the talking circle, the Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience, and Transcendence (FHORT), culturally specific risk and protective factors, tribal values identified in preliminary research, and culturally specific forms of celebration, including traditional tribal cooking. We highlight the community and professional development of over 50 community health leaders who facilitate the program. Finally, we examine pilot results from eight tribal families who completed the program indicating promising positive results across cultural, community, familial, relational, and individual levels. The WHF program and its development simultaneously contributes to immediate (income), intermediary (learning about and engaging with culture, family skill building, violence and AOD prevention), and long-term (creating leaders for change and community solidarity) benefits for the community. Despite the necessary and intentional long-term commitment and resources needed for this work, culturally grounded, multipronged, bidirectional, and strengths-based, research is recommended.

    Panel:
    Nikki Comby, William Dan Isaac, Catherine E. McKinley, and Tamela Solomon

    3:00 – 3:15

    Break

    3:15 – 4:45

    Fifth Session:

    Panel:
    * Leila Blackbird,

    Incorporating interdisciplinary methodologies from anthropology, history, and spatial humanities, this paper examines land use and environmental racism over time. It argues Louisiana’s Cancer Alley is a direct outgrowth of settler colonialism and the plantation complex, forming what I call the “Plantation-to-Petrochemical Complex.”

    Native lands along the Lower Mississippi River were forcibly taken – through warfare, enslavement, and other acts of genocide – divided and distributed through royal land grants to settlers, then developed into plantations dependent on enslaved Native and, increasingly, African and African American labor. This extractive exploitation of land and labor consolidated wealth and biopower into the hands of the white planter elite, creating the one of the most brutal slave societies in the Antebellum South. During the Civil War, Louisiana’s sugar parishes were exempted from emancipation, and plantations were allowed to remain operational well into the Postbellum period. Profitability then became dependent on newly developing coerced labor regimes. Control was maintained through the pervasive use of state-sanctioned racial violence. When Louisiana’s sugar plantations collapsed at the beginning of the 20th century, it coincided with the discovery the oil frontier along the Gulf Coast. Many former plantations were sold directly to emerging petroleum corporations.

    Now one of the most toxic geographies in the nation, Louisiana’s sugar parishes form “Cancer Alley, USA.” This region’s petroleum and petroleum-derived industrial production facilities, pipelines, and shipping industries are an essential part of the US energy sector. But to facilitate it, Louisiana’s Black and Native communities must continue to be ravaged by poverty, incarceration, disease, and death, exemplifying a necropolitical present in which subjectivity and death are the roots of both the settler state’s historical sovereignty and its modern political economy. The Plantation-to-Petrochemical Complex reveals the hyper-complexity of global capitalist spatialities, linking colonial and neo-colonial strategies to maintain control over land, labor, and natural resources.

    * Carsten Schmidtke,

    Climate change is a multi-faceted, complex challenge that has no easy answers and requires much expertise to find solutions. The effects of climate change can devastate indigenous coastal communities and thus endanger cultural continuity and survival. In general, skills needed to address issues of climate change are given as livelihood and policy analysis, leadership and stakeholder engagement, negotiation, data analysis, incentive and benefit framework development, and others.

    What is missing from this list, however, is what happens after stakeholders have been engaged, policies have been set, and incentives have been determined. Implementation of plans and policies to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change require expertise in a number of technical areas such as forestry, wetland conservation, construction, alternative energies, pollution reduction, and other areas. If indigenous communities can train their own highly skilled technical workforces that can implement plans and conduct mitigation and prevention efforts, they will be able to take charge of their own futures, develop culturally appropriate solutions, and reduce their reliance on outside experts who may have their own agendas and may not have the best interest of indigenous communities in mind.

    Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to argue that in order to develop and implement strategies to fight climate change, indigenous communities need to overcome any reluctance to encourage young people to choose technical careers and develop their own highly skilled technical workforce. Having community members able to develop, direct, and implement prevention and mitigation efforts is a benefit to indigenous communities trying to take charge of their own destinies.

    4:45 – 5:00

    Closing Remarks

    5:00

    Reception

    March 19th Day Two

    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

    Art and Culture:

    The Hasinai Heartbeat: Art & Perpetuating Caddo Traditions

    Chad Earles, Caddo Nation

    Applying Fire to Earth: Contemporary Evolution of Caddo Ceramics

    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:

    Moderator: Judith Maxwell, Tulane University, Etowah

    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:

    Thrivance Circuitry: Queer Afro-Indigenous Futurity and Kinship through Wi hokišak kuš in Louisiana and Beyond

    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 Ducre-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

    • Denise E. Bates

    • Leila Blackbird

    • Robert Caldwell

    • Lora Ann Chaisson

    • Brenda Child

    • Principal Chief Edward Chretien Jr.

    • Nikki Comby

    • Phil Cross

    • Karen Ducre-Raymond

    • Chad Earles

    • Chase Earles

    • Cougar Goodbear

    • LeAnne Howe

    • Dan Isaac

    • Andrew Jolivétte

    • Christina Lake

    • Bertney & Linda Langley

    • Eli Langley

    • Scierra LeGarde

    • Catherine McKinley

    • Loretta Oden

    • Guillermo Pupo Pernet

    • Donna Pierite

    • Elisabeth Pierite-Mora

    • Teyanna Pierite

    • Carsten Schmidtke

    • Noel Smyth

    • Tamela Solomon

    • Kirstin Squint

    • Kimberly Walden

    • 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, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South Indigenous Symposium
      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 Etowah Nation Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana United Houma Nation

    Image Credit: Laura D. Kelley