Historical marker will honor Chief White Smoke

Highway workers set the post for Chief White Smoke’s historical marker at 1458 Hwy 1226 at the foot of the Chevery Dam in Natchitoches. White Smoke is buried about a fourth of a mile as the crow flies from this spot on Butte Hill mound.

Belinda Brooks

Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux (BTBB) will dedicate a Louisiana Historical Marker honoring the first chief of BTBB, White Smoke, at a tribal gathering March 19. White Smoke’s oral history is online at ButteTribe.org on the Chiefs’ History page.
BTBB is known as the “Hidden Tribe of Louisiana.” with historical locations on their tribal land recorded in oral history. Chief White Smoke and his wife, Two Moons, are buried at Butte Hill, a secret indigenous burial mound that was guarded for over 200 years. White Smoke was buried standing up hold his sacred pipe with his coup stick beside him.

La DOTD crew members met with Chief Rodger Collum on Butte Tribe lanad to erect the tribe’s historical mmarker in honor of their first Chief, White Smoke. From left are Shane Wilson, Donovan Tassin, Collum and James Jowers.

Chief Rodger Collum lives on the same land where the previous five chiefs lived and died. Within 50 feet of his front door is the tribal temple mound. Numerous artifacts of pre and post European explorer ages have been recovered from this mound.
History tells of the buffalo prairie land that covered the backside of the tribal land. Hundreds of years ago, BTBB’s indigenous ancestors hand-carried hills of sand to the prairie land to create a huge buffalo lick. When buffalo went to the lick to roll around on the sand and rid themselves of biting insect pests, the natives would make their kill.
This article published in the Feb. 26, 2022, print edition.

Jewel Springs, a mystic native spring, is found near the prairie land. When sick and in need of healing, natives would travel there to bathe in the mystic waters.