Friday, September 5, 2008

Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe and Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Take Direct Hit From Gustav Eyewall

Four Directions Solidarity Network ACTION ALERT- HURRICANE GUSTAV
For Immediate Release: Friday, September 05, 2008

Contact: Naomi Archer 828-230-1404 or


Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe and Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Take Direct Hit From Gustav Eyewall

Despite the rosy media reports of light damage from Hurricane Gustav, several of southern Lousiana’s coastal Indigenous communities are reeling from a direct hit by Hurricane Gustav’s 115mph winds and large storm surge. Their communities lie in shambles.

The communities of lower Pointe-au-Chien, home of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe (PACIT), and the Isle de Jean Charles (“The Island”) Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Confederation of Muskogees (BCCM) are still trying to assess the severe damage and what it will take to rebuild after Gustav’s devastating winds and storm-surge flooded homes, knocked buildings off their foundations, and decimated the primary source of income in the early season commercial shrimp harvest. The Island is still inaccessible due to prevailing flood waters. ( the most recent update from community leaders follows this action alert)

Please assist these communities in their time of need! These communities, historically underserved and ignored, are asking for urgent donations of the following items:

+ Clean fresh water
+ Gas powered generators
+ Nonperishable and ready-made food items
+ Fans and window unit air conditioners
+ Gas powered pressure washers
+ Cleaning supplies including bleach, scrub brushes, towels, and rubber gloves
+ Tarps
+ Building supplies which can be donated via Home Depot and Lowes Gift Cards
+ Hygiene products, diapers, wipes, and baby formula

Donations can be sent directly to:
c/o Chief Albert Naquin
100 Dennis Street
Montegut, LA 70377

Patty Ferguson - Tribal Attorney, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe

Charles Verdin - Chairman, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
(985) 856-5336

Albert Naquin - Chief, Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha
(985) 232-1286

Four Directions Solidarity Network is also accepting donations of relief aid and volunteer assistance which will be provided to the effected communities. We worked closely with the coastal Indigenous tribes following hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have been invited to do so now.
Naomi Archer – Coordinator
Four Directions Solidarity Network brings native and non-native people together to work respectfully with Indigenous communities to solve problems and preserve culture through times of hardship and change. In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Four Directions facilitated more than 75 tons of food and material aid, 26 large and small appliances; 30 classroom teaching kits to the most damaged elementary schools, collected 4 tons of trash, organized two community-led ‘free’ stores, and contributed over 5000+ volunteer hours in the community. We maintain a policy of free and equal distribution of storm aid to any person in need within the affected area regardless of race, ethnicity or tribal affiliation. Visit our website at
Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community Damage Report September 3, 2008

Second Chairman Donald Dardar and Chairman Charles "Chuckie" Verdin have traveled through the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community documenting visible damage to each home. The assessment is not good. Tribal leaders report that the damage to the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community by Hurricane Gustav is worse than the damage caused by Rita and Katrina in 2005. Almost every house in lower Pointe-au-Chien has water (from flooding and/or wind damage) and/or wind damage. Some houses are totally destroyed; some homes were moved or pushed off of their blocks by the wind/rain. Our tribal building fell off of the blocks and many resources within the building were destroyed. Thankfully, the two houses built by the Mennonite Disaster Service after the 2005 hurricane season withstood the storm.

It appears that the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community, not protected by a levee, received a huge onslaught of water and mud that rushed in and, perhaps rushed out, causing houses to be pushed, picked up, and moved. As of today, the pumps in lower Pointe-au-Chien were still pumping water out of the community. Tribal leaders have been in contact with the neighboring Indian community, Isle a Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha. Chief Naquin of Isle a Jean Charles has reported that the Island is still under water because the pumps failed.

Tribal members would like to start cleaning up, but there is no water in the Community to allow for tribal members to begin the clean up process. It is unknown when water or power might be available. Lafourche Parish was working today to clear the mud off of Oak Pointe Road to make the road passable. Tribal leaders expect most tribal members to return to asses the damage to their homes by Saturday.

Further complicating the situation, Second Chairman Donald Dardar believes that the local fishermen, who rely on the shrimping season, will not have that source of income this season. Price's Factor owned by tribal member, Price Billiot and other factories in Terrebonne Parish were impacted by Gustav.

Other tribal members living in upper Pointe-aux-Chenes, Montegut, and Bourg also received wind damage from the storm.

An initial assessment reveals that tribal members need water, generators, fans, cleaning supplies, towels, tarps, building supplies, window units, hygiene products, diapers, formula, and nonperishable food items. WE ALSO NEED A LEVEE!

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