Butte Tribe hosts Fall Gathering

Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux met for their annual Fall Gathering at Pace Community Center. Special guest was Tribe Council Chief Belinda “Bella” Haag. She traveled with her husband Bull from Utah. She represents her tribe on the federal tribe petition committee as the BIA contact. She is a professional government document formatter/writer who oversees the completed BIA document. Additionally, she is part of the La. State Grant Committee where she provides state government monthly reports for the tribe’s BEAR Network.From left are Belinda Brooks, Vice Chief, Chief Rodger Collum and Haag

Belinda Brooks
Members of the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux met on Saturday, Oct. 8 for the Annual Fall Gathering. This year’s gathering was highlighted by the honored guest, Council Chief Belinda “Bella” Haag, and her husband Bill, who traveled from Utah to visit their family in Natchitoches. Bella serves her tribe as a professional government document writer and editor and designated contact for the tribe’s BIA petition with the federal government. Haag explained the significance of the work that has been completed at this time. 
Chief Rodger Collum read the minutes and financial report to the tribe. Following the reports, Collum spoke to the tribe about various projects and fundraisers that are underway.  
Filmmaker and family member Danielle Romero is working with the tribe to produce a short historical film on Chief White Smoke and Butte tribal lands. The film will be used for marketing purposes in local museums. 
The decision to create the film came at the request of the US Corp of Engineers to display in their local facilities.
Louisiana’s Director of the  Governor’s  Council on Emergency Preparedness and Healthy Tribe Initiative Rudy Macklin visited the tribe’s council the previous week and commended Butte Tribe on the success of the BEAR Network Project in fulfilling their committed contract with the State. He offered additional grant funds to be used by the tribe to continue BEAR Network’s efforts. Chief Collum complied with the project and spoke to members about beginning the Healthy Tribe Initiative. Members throughout both chapters of the tribe (Natchitoches and Northeast Louisiana) will start this project phase by committing to the BEAR Walk for Health program. Then, members will begin to record their steps on a Louisiana state-sponsored app headed by Macklin.
David Trichell of the Northeast Chapter of Butte Tribe won the gun raffle that raised funds for the future Butte Tribe Cultural Center. The raffle raised over $10,000. Following the meeting, a grilled chicken dinner was served.

Butte Tribe member David Trichell was the winner of the rifle raffle. At no cost to the tribe, the raffle sales exceeded $10,000. Funds will be used for the future Cultural Center.

Those who desired to learn more about their tribe’s history and walk the grounds tred by their ancestors traveled with the chief to historical landmarks on his land. First, some saw White Smoke’s Louisiana historical landmark sign for the first time. Next, the tribe made their way to the spot where White Smoke and his son, Powder Face, attacked and slaughtered 12 Scottish settlers who made the mistake of stopping on Butte land to homestead. Following this, Collum led his tribe to the burial sight of Chief Powder Face and his wife, Maria Luiza Perez. The Native American cemetery is located on Butte land, owned and operated by Chief Rodger Collum.
As part of the Emergency Preparedness and Healthy Tribe Initiative and the BEAR Network of Butte Tribe, Chief Rodger Collum commissioned his tribe to begin the WALK phase of the project. Tribal members gathered in front of the Pace Community Center during their annual Fall Gathering to signify th e beginning of their compliance to the program requirements. Tribal members will register on the La. Dept. of Health website.

To read more about these stories, get your copy online or through Natchitoches local businesses of the 2022 November edition of Historic Natchitoches, published by Natchitoches Times, and read “Butte Tribe Celebrates Native American Heritage Month.”
Are you interested in reading more about the Butte Tribe? Go to BUTTETRIBE.ORG and read the Chiefs’ History. If you would care to donate to the building of the Butte Tribe Cultural Center, Butte Tribe is a non-profit organization. Contributions can be made online by PayPal or Venmmo. Enter the following email address to make your donation: Buttetribe@gmail.com.