Published May 7, 2016
ELTON, LOUISIANA – The Longest Walk 5 – War on Drugs and Domestic Violence made its way from Oklahoma into Arkansas and onto Louisiana this week as it makes it way to Washington, D.C.
The long walkers were welcomed and taken care of extremely well by the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. Staying at the Coushatta Inn in Kinder, Louisiana, the long walkers were treated like family. The tribe supplied the means and resources to fix and repair a truck the walkers will use as a support vehicle transporting gear.
During the day while the truck was being worked on the walkers were fed lunch and Mike Tarply shared facts of how a Sacred Burial Mound on Tenth South Parish Wild life Refugee in North East Louisiana was disturbed and broken into shambles by government workers. The burial mounds were first identified in 1934 by a Mr. Moore.
Crystal Williams from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana serves on The Tribal Council in Elton. Crystal told Native News Online:
“Drug abuse is a very important issue. The youth are very important so we try to prevent them from using. Today we have resources such as rehab clinics and half way homes that the tribe works with, and these help us with our drug problems. In the past around the 80’s and 90’s we had big drug problems that came along with poverty. Our tribe, before the casino started, was very much in poverty. I remember being a little girl and not being able to go to the doctor. Because we did not have insurance, we had to wait for the IHS clinic to open but I was lucky I lived in Texas and we had those services there, but here (in Louisiana) they did not have those services and things were a lot more desperate. There were a lot less jobs here, but now the people have a council which is very young, the chairman is an older guy (elder), but with us being young (the youngest is 30 years old) we try and develop programs that our youth will respond too. We try our best, we are not totally rid of any alcohol and drug problems, they are still with us, it is still present. For those who have these issues, we try and deal with them as best as we can. It is our responsibility that makes sure help is there and help is provided.”
Jonas John has been working to save the Koasati Language. To learn more visit Koasati Language.
Long Walkers and Coushatta members, Leland Thompson, Rayne Langley and Jonas John
Crystal Williams and Coushatta Princess Sophia John