Saturday, Aug. 6 has been named by the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux as “Serving Our Elders in Love” day. Butte Tribe members will visit tribe and community elders on that day and the days leading up to it to show their love and appreciation. As part of the Butte Tribe’s Bear Project, members will check on the health and well being of the elders. They will offer their services on behalf of the tribe and the La. Governor’s Office to help the elders prepare for the negative effects of local natural disasters and present evacuation plans if needed.
Chief Rodger Collum started the celebration with the 89th birthday dinner of his beautiful Aunt Lorene Desadier, an elder of Butte Tribe. Born July 27, 1933, in Natchitoches Parish, Lorene Julie Welch Desadier is the daughter of the late William “T-Boy” Welch Jr. and his wife, Cornie Meline Antee. Lorene married Oscar Clarence Desadier, son of Chief Clarence Desadier, and had seven children, Richard, Dallas, Ricky, Jennifer, Vicky, Martha and Glenda Desadier.
Lorene’s Native American lineage stems from three historical indigenous women. Two women were captives of French and Canadian soldiers stationed at the Natchitoches fort. The other’s captive status is unclear.
First, St. Denis captured Marie Jeanne De La Grande Terre during a slave raid on the Chitimacha Village near today’s Mobile, Ala. (Capital of the Louisiana Colony) in 1702. He acquired 22 women and children, of which Marie Jeanie was included, along with the primary captive, Marie Anne Theresa de la Grande Terre, the main bloodline of the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux. Then, according to Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Bits of Evidence, No. 490, Marie Jeanne was sold to an aging bachelor, Francois Dion Despres Derbanne, whom she later married. Lorene is a descendant of their son, Pierre Dion Derbanne.
The second native ancestor of Lorene was Anne of the Caddos. Mills’ Bits of Evidence, No. 493, records Anne’s arrival with a Parisian-born soldier from a Louisiana colony’s sub-post of the Grand Caddodoche of Oklahoma to the Natchitoches post in May 1736. Within a month, as recorded in the abstracts from Register 6 of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Natchitoches, by Judy Riffel, Brevel entered the church with his newborn son, who was baptized by the local priest as Jean Baptiste Brevel. That baby became the ancestor of Lorene.
The last recorded indigenous ancestor was Angelique. In Bits of Evidence, No. 492, Angelique, Tribe Unknown: Mother of Mystery, Elizabeth Mills states that Angelique lived in Natchitoches for at least a dozen years before any record was recorded of her existence. Angelique arrived in 1722 with a Frenchman in the service of St. Denis, Canadian-born Charles Dumont. Somewhere amidst his travels with St. Denis on a Texas expedition, Dumont found Angelique. Lorene descended through the bloodline of her daughter, Catherine Angelique Dumont.
Note, the myth of Angelique being an Indian princess has no base. Besides the fact, there is no such thing as an Indian princess. Leaders of indigenous people were servants to their people and never served as royalty.
For those new to the Natchitoches historical research, Elizabeth Shown Mills is among the leading certified genealogist in our area. You can find her publications online for purchase. Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux is forever thankful to her and her late husband’s dedicated, professional service to preserving Natchitoches’ history. Without that documentation, Butte Tribe could never prove their Native American bloodline linkage.
As always, to learn more about the history of the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux, go to Buttetribe.org and read the Chiefs’ History, an oral history as told by Chief Rodger Collum and written by Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks.