indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Feature: Alabama-Coushatta Tribe faces an uncertain future

Filed Under: National | Politics
More on: alabama-coushatta, bia, ihs, sequestration, texas
     

The Houston Press runs a lengthy feature on the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, touching on a wide range of issues, including the devastating effects of sequestration on the reservation and the limited economic opportunities:
Singing filled the hall while the drumbeat rattled the yellow pine walls. Obrey Alec, eyes closed, gently shook his long, graying hair and smacked the drum while a wail poured from his throat. It was a song from another tribe and the words weren't in Alabama or Coushatta, the two closely related languages of the Alabama-Coushatta of Texas.

Bryant Celestine, tribe historian, watched it all through the lens of his video camera. The dancers wore sequin-covered costumes that were loosely historically accurate for their people. The children in the audience, even their own children from the reservation's Head Start program, stared up at the dancers, eyes round, mouths agape, peeking into an alien world. Celestine smiled a bit while taking care to hold the camera straight. Here they were, putting on their finest costumes, celebrating Federal Restoration Week, and most people in the U.S. had no idea they existed here on this patch of land just outside Livingston in East Texas.

They've been in Texas since the late 1700s and on this plot of land on the edge of the Big Thicket since the 1850s, but no one gave them much thought when the stories laced through the national media about the poor, forgotten Native Americans, the Navajo and the Cherokee — both tribes with vast riches in terms of money, power and numbers compared to the Alabama-Coushatta.

When the political battle in Washington, D.C., resulted in sequestration — automatic, across-the-board, bluntly delivered budget cuts — for federal programs, the Alabama-Coushatta took 5 percent reductions in their budget with grace and hoped the money would be restored. When the ideological struggle brought the entire federal government to a standstill at the beginning of October, the Alabama-Coushatta could only wait, helpless, and have faith that the government would be up and running before the federally funded programs — which about 500 members on the reservation and most of the 1,150 recognized members of the tribe rely on — ran out of money.

They waited while no one in the wider world gave them much thought. "We've been here for generations, but people don't even know we're still out here," Celestine said. "People think there are no Indians left in Texas."

This is a problem being felt by all tribes across the board, Amber Ebarb, budget and policy analyst for the National Congress of American Indians, said. "Tribal agreements have been collateral damage in this ideological back-and-forth in politics," Ebarb said. "We're getting lost in the larger debate."

This is tough for the larger tribes, but for tribes like the Alabama-Coushatta, it keeps them pinned in a corner, unable to move forward and become what they could be or to have any real control over their future.

Get the Story:
The Alabama-Coushatta Still Exist and Are Doing What They Need to Do to Continue (The Houston Press 11/13)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Interior nominee Ryan Zinke heads toward confirmation in Senate (2/28)
David Ganje: Wetlands management still a mess in United States (2/28)
Peter d'Errico: Yankton Sioux Tribe battles Dakota Access in court (2/28)
Acoma Pueblo in agreement to host $160M medical greenhouse (2/28)
Supreme Court turns down another tribal disenrollment dispute (2/27)
Sioux Nation citizens seek to join Dakota Access Pipeline lawsuit (2/27)
Dakota Access files another status update on construction work (2/27)
Trump team gets more time in Supreme Court tribal casino case (2/27)
Former top legal official at Interior Department joins firm in D.C. (2/27)
Trump administration rolls over for energy firms on Indian land (2/27)
Tim Giago: Lack of a free press is nothing new in Indian Country (2/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation works to protect our resources (2/27)
Mark Trahant: The story of Standing Rock won't be going away (2/27)
Jenni Monet: Tribes continue fight as #NoDAPL camps evicted (2/27)
Victor Swallow: Making dresses out of flour sacks at Pine Ridge (2/27)
Albert Bender: The war against Dakota Access can still be won (2/27)
Tiffany Midge: Welcome to America's greatest amusement park (2/27)
Darren Bonaparte: Mohawk people have long history with borders (2/27)
Kyle Mays: Indigenous and African people can find common ground (2/27)
New York Times returns to Navajo Nation for another rez ball story (2/27)
Connecticut tribes finally settle on location for 3rd potential casino (2/27)
Prairie Island Indian Community puts casino name on new project (2/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe blasts Trump claim of 'constant contact' (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe calls out Trump 'lies' on Dakota Access (2/24)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge residents worried about water (2/24)
Editorial: Shutting down Whiteclay won't address our addictions (2/24)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Indigenous people still struggle in America (2/24)
Steve Russell: To all the indigenous writers being born out there (2/24)
Connecticut tribes plan to announce site for potential new casino (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe slams Trump for lack of consultation (2/23)
Native Sun News Today: Tribes asked to participate in 'land grab' (2/23)
Mark Trahant: A victory on Indian health from Washington state (2/23)
James Giago Davies: We've become too proud of our ignorance (2/23)
Cronkite News: Plant closure impacts Hopi and Navajo workers (2/23)
Peter d'Errico: Book is yet another in series of genocide deniers (2/23)
Tanya Lee: Republicans run amok as America focuses on Trump (2/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.