In 2021, Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to the Tribal communities in southeast Louisiana. Sixty of sixty-eight homes of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe were unlivable after Hurricane Ida – a Category 4 storm that passed over them in August 2021. The communities face increasing flood risks and the vitally important sacred sites (mounds) that have great significance to the Tribes will disappear due to erosion if immediate action is not taken.
Within this context, and in response to the rapidly increasing climate crisis, three Tribes in coastal Louisiana – the Grand Bayou Atakapa-Ishak/Chawasha Tribe of Grand Bayou Village, Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe – initiated a project to restore marsh ecosystems, reduce land loss and flood risk, and protect sacred sites through filling in the canals dredged in Louisiana’s wetlands. The project, in partnership with the Lowlander Center, Louisiana State University, and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network, integrates coastal resilience activities and cultural heritage.
Below, view videos of Tribal leaders from coastal Louisiana sharing their local knowledge, wisdom, and experiences of the health impacts and resilience-building recovery actions following Hurricane Ida.
This short video about canals in southeastern Louisiana provides an overview of the project.