Natchitoches Tribe could soon have statewide recognition – Louisiana News

Natchitoches Tribe could soon have statewide recognition – Louisiana News


Sarah Gamard, Manship School News Service

Published 7:20 a.m. CT May 19, 2017 | Updated 43 minutes ago

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Adai Caddo Chief Rufus Davis provides an introduction to the tribe’s cultural center in Robeline.
(Lex Talamo)

BATON ROUGE — The House passed 86-1 Thursday House Concurrent Resolution 15 by Rep. Kenny Cox, D-Natchitoches, officially recognizing the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana as a state Indian tribe. It now goes to the Senate.

Cox said the resolution “rights a wrong” for the tribe’s history of Native American oppression.

“Their lands were taken away from them. They couldn’t exist.”

Robert Johnson, D-Marksville, the only lawmaker to vote against HCR15, said four tribes in his area have asked him to draft similar legislation. Johnson said he has denied their requests because he wants a more uniform vetting system to ensure only tribes with the proper credentials, e.g. proof of heritage, are selected.

Johnson, whose district contains one of Louisiana’s four federally recognized Indian tribes, said he has nothing against the Natchitoches Tribe becoming an official state tribe. Johnson told the Manship School News Service that he voted against the bill because he wants his actions to be consistent with that of his constituents.

Statewide recognition is only a small step in the long haul. If the resolution passes the Senate, the…

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