Butte Tribe makes debut in Christmas Festival Parade

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Chief Rodger Collum is shown with his aunt, Elder Hazel Desadier Hays-Barnett. She is the only surviving child of Chief Parrian, Clarence and Luella Waters Desadier. She was the sister of the chief’s mother, Olla Mae Desadier Collum. As with all the chief’s family, they were raised in the Pace Community on Bayou Bourbeaux.

Joshua L. Johnson

December is a magical time of the year in which Butte Tribe celebrates the Christmas season with family and friends. It is the time of the year where the city and parish of Natchitoches come together to celebrate their annual Christmas festival. On Dec. 4, 2021, for the first time in the indigenous family’s 300-year documented history, Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux joined the Natchitoches festivities.

This article published in the Dec. 16, 2021, print edition

That history began with the capture of the Chitimacha Indians, Marie Theresa De La Grande Terre and Marie Jeanne De La Grande Terre. Among others included in this history are Angelique, said to be of the Hasani Texas tribe, wife of Charles Dumont; Anne of the Caddo’s, wife of Jean Baptiste Breville; Marie Jeannie of the Caddo’s, wife of Franciso Barto; White Smoke and Two Moons, Texas Mission Indians; and Jeanne De LaRivere DelRio, Adai Indian, mother of Pierre Larenaudiere.

Butte Tribes’ procession was led by flag bearers Bobby Desadier and James Allgor. Keith Hernandez and Tad Desadier followed displaying the Butte sign. Plans for Chief Collum to ride his horse in the parade were squashed after unforeseen circumstances. Butte youth, Jude Dye, grandson of Council Chief Becky Dye, walked in front of his chief on the 3-mile parade route. Chief Collum was a big hit with the crowd. His comical and outgoing personality drew people from both sides of the parade route for picture taking.

Following the chief were the tribe’s covered wagon and three trailers of Butte Indians. The chief’s wife and tribe’s first lady, Charlia Collum, along with Butte Tribe’s Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks traveled in the covered wagon. Tribal elder, Hazel Desadier Hays-Barnett took her honored place inside the wagon. Natchitoches area people were thrilled to meet Butte Tribe for the first time in public.

Many commented on how much they looked forward to reading tribal articles published by the Natchitoches Times. Understanding that from the beginning, Natchitoches’ history was one big melting pot of people from all cultures and that we are all related in one way or the other is part of our creole heritage. Butte Tribe extends their thanks and appreciation to the Natchitoches Times for their support in publishing our history.

If you would like to learn more about Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux, go to BUTTETRIBE.org and read the Chiefs’ History.