indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Job Opening - Editor - Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Times
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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe to issue IDs at tournament (11/25)
James Giago Davies: Polygamy and shunning in Lakota culture (11/25)
Ben Shelly: There's a lot to be thankful for on the Navajo Nation (11/25)
Cara Cowan Watts: Share the blessings of the Cherokee Nation (11/25)
Joe Sexton: BIA's 'ugly' land policies stuck in the 19th century (11/25)
Jenny Durkan: Cop who killed Native man wasn't charged either (11/25)
Oklahoma claims Citizen Potawatomi Nation must collect taxes (11/25)
Divided court won't extend Seneca Nation immunity to business (11/25)
Vice: North Dakota tribe sees $25M a month in energy royalties (11/25)
Members of Lumbee Tribe proud to carry on tradition of service (11/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe donates $10K to local food pantry (11/25)
Slate: Non-Indians were encouraged to move to tribal territory (11/25)
Column: Remains of Dakota man hanged in 1862 kept in home (11/25)
Family members plead guilty to thefts from reservation town (11/25)
Authorities investigate fatal crash involving Bad River officer (11/25)
Editorial: Yakama Nation must disclose plans for clean water (11/25)
Roy Burton: Montana tribe puts its people at risk with gaming (11/25)
Lawmaker asks BIA to wait on Cowlitz Tribe casino acquisition (11/25)
Gaming compacts on agenda for 2015 session in New Mexico (11/25)
Quapaw Tribe faces even more competition for Kansas casino (11/25)
Pala Band wins final approval for online gaming in New Jersey (11/25)
Mashantucket Tribe still thinking about Massachusetts casino (11/25)
Tim Giago: Cornflakes every Sunday at Indian boarding school (11/24)
Charles Trimble: A time to give thanks -- For whatever reason (11/24)
Mark Trahant: Incoming Alaska governor opens doors to tribes (11/24)
Native Sun News: Four from South Dakota win big at rodeo final (11/24)
Suzan Shown Harjo to receive Medal of Freedom at White House (11/24)
Bill John Baker: Take pride in Cherokee Nation accomplishments (11/24)
Bryan Brewer: Tribal communities need better Internet service (11/24)
Harold Monteau: Teach children about our positive tribal values (11/24)
Crystal Willcuts: Keystone XL Pipeline just makes the rich richer (11/24)
PBS: VAWA helps tribes go after non-Indian domestic offenders (11/24)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in shock after shooting leaves 4 dead (11/24)
Complaint against Navajo Nation presidential hopeful dismissed (11/24)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe defends online loan business amid scrutiny (11/24)
Chippewa Cree Tribe swears in chairman more than a year later (11/24)
Florida Supreme Court declines Miccosukee child custody case (11/24)
Three arrested in fatal stabbing at Yankton Sioux tribal housing (11/24)
Mille Lacs Band grows economy with Oklahoma hotel purchase (11/24)
Editorial: BIA fails to resolve Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (11/24)
Former Choctaw Nation employee plans appeal in criminal case (11/24)
Faction of Chukchansi Tribe walks away from casino mediation (11/24)
Tribal casinos cancel Bill Cosby shows as allegations resurface (11/24)
Editorial: Poarch Creeks control their own destiny with gaming (11/24)
Editorial: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (11/24)
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/21)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty in criminal case (11/21)
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.