26th Annual Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Education Day Returns to Inspire Students of All Ages 

After last year’s successful event, Tribe encourages public to participate in this free, educational event held before the annual Pow Wow. 

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana will host a free Education Day on Friday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This annual public event, held on the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation in Marksville, is a free day of programming dedicated to educating students of all ages on Native American culture, and highlights the historical, social and symbolic significance of inter-tribal Pow Wows. 

The 2024 Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow Education Day will consist of Pow Wow dance demonstrations, Tunica-Biloxi Storytelling, arts and crafts vendors and displays, flute music and interactive traditional home. The Ottertrail Singers from Apache, Oklahoma, will accompany dance exhibitions during the programs, and attendees are encouraged to participate in inter-tribal dances, including Round Dance and Two-step. 

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana has developed such robust educational programming over the last several decades,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “This is an opportunity to share our rich history and traditions with students of all ages so they may come to understand our tribe in a deeper way, and I encourage all who can to participate in this invaluable experience.” 

Students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, and group reservations are encouraged. There will be two (2) programs, approximately 75 minutes in length, scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2024. For reservations, contact Elisabeth Pierite at (318) 240-6432 or emora@tunica.org

Groups interested in scheduling a tour of the Tunica-Biloxi Museum at the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural & Educational Resources Center may contact Melissa Barbin at (800) 272-9767, ext. 6421, or mbarbin@tunica.org.   

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Celebrates Tribal Museums Day with free admission, tours

Tribal Museums Day is designed to bring attention to diverse Native cultures and educate the public on rich history of Indian Country

MARKSVILLE, La. – Today, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana announced free museum entry and guided tours December 4 – 8, 2023, in honor of Tribal Museums Day. The Tunica-Biloxi Museum is home to the “Tunica Treasure,” a vast collection of Native American European trade items and other artifacts dating back to the 18th century.

This is the second annual Tribal Museums Day, which was started by the Association on American Indian Affairs (the Association). The day calls for tribal museums across the country to open their doors and allow visitors free admission to gain a better knowledge and respect for diverse cultures and tribal histories.

“Tribal Museums Day is a trailblazing initiative that allows people from all walks of life to dive deep into our rich Tunica-Biloxi heritage,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “Whether you’ve been to our museum before or have always wanted to go—we welcome you with open arms and an eagerness to educate. Our people have a rich history and deep roots here in Louisiana, and we are eager to share it with our neighbors and friends.”

The Tunica-Biloxi Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.—4 p.m. Those wishing to celebrate Tribal Museums Day with free entry to the Tunica-Biloxi Museum can show up between Dec. 4 – 8, 2023, no ticket required.

For those who want to experience more, the Association is hosting a free livestreaming event to kick off the celebration on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 2 p.m. The live stream will be from the Hoċokata Ṫi, the Museum and Cultural Center of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota. You can join the live stream from the Association’s YouTube channel.


The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is hosting its 7th Annual Intertribal Basketry Summit on Saturday, October 28th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Tunica-Biloxi Gymnasium. The Tunica Biloxi Language & Culture Revitalization Program extends an open invitation to basket weavers for a day of weaving and basketry demonstrations from regional Native American communities.

The Summit will be an informal forum allowing weavers to talk about their own techniques and elements of their culture represented in the craft. Beginners and observers are encouraged to attend. Weavers from regional Native American communities will be demonstrating weaving tradition using longleaf pine needles, river cane and palmetto leaves.

Viewing of baskets is open and FREE to the public. A $25 registration fee is required for those wanting to learn pine needle weaving or display their own baskets. (Lunch and basket materials included). Please contact Emilie Barbry to register at emilie.barbry@tunica.org or (318) 427-7430.

Paragon Casino Resort To Host Exclusive Early Premiere Party for “57 Seconds”

Paragon Casino Resort and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana invite tribal citizens and employees to attend the Exclusive Early Premiere of “57 Seconds” on Thursday, September 28, at the Paragon Cinema. The movie was largely filmed in Lafayette, Louisiana but includes exciting scenes filmed inside Paragon Casino featuring Paragon associates as extras. A-list Hollywood actors Morgan Freeman, Josh Hutcherson and Greg Germann star in the film. Those invited to Paragon’s movie premiere will get the unique experience to view “57 Seconds” a whole day before its big U.S. debut.
“57 Seconds” is an action thriller with science fiction undertones based on the short story “Fallen Angel” by E.C. Tubb. The movie centers around Franklin Fox (Hutcherson), a tech blogger who finds a mysterious ring that can turn back the clock by 57 seconds. With the help of a technology guru (Freeman), Franklin decides to use the ring to take down the leader of a major pharmaceutical company (Germann) who he believes is responsible for his sister’s death.
Ticketholders for the Sept. 28 premiere may show their tickets at the Atrium Bar to gain access to the exclusive pre-show reception from 5 – 7 p.m.  

Paragon Casino Resort to Host Debate for Upcoming Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Race

Candidates will discuss how they plan to overcome challenges the Sheriff’s Office may face to continue their promise to protect and serve Avoyelles Parish

Paragon Casino Resort invites the public to attend the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Candidate Debate on Monday, October 2, in Paragon’s Mari Showroom. The debate will bring together the qualified candidates on the ballot, including incumbent Avoyelles Parish Sheriff David Dauzat (R), Tunica-Biloxi Police Chief Harold Pierite (D), former Louisiana State Trooper Todd “T-Goo” Gaspard (R) and former Deputy Sean Paul Mayeux (no party). Election Day is Saturday, October 14.

The candidates will discuss day-to-day duties and expectations of the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office. They will debate strategies that have worked and have not worked in reducing crime and keeping the residents of the Avoyelles Parish communities safe. Candidates are expected to address the current budget and available resources that the Sheriff’s Office has from local and state offices, along with their plan to maintain relationships and cooperation across other Avoyelles Parish departments.

As part of nonstop efforts to help the surrounding communities, one canned food item will be required for admission into the event. All canned food items will be donated by the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Political Action Committee (TBIPAC) to local food pantries and churches.

The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Candidate Debate begins at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, October 2, 2023, in the Mari Showroom of the Paragon Casino Resort.

LaRuE Summit Speakers & Agenda Announced

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is partnering with the Southern University Law Center (SULC) and the Southern University College of Business University Center for Economic Development to co-host the second annual Louisiana Rural and Economic (LaRuE) Development Summit, sponsored by T-Mobile. The two-day Summit will be held on September 11 & 12 in Marksville at Paragon Casino Resort.

LaRuE keynote speakers and panelists will include business executives, industry experts and state and local elected officials. Check out the list below to see who you’ll hear from in just a few short days!

Click Here for the agenda.

Learn more and register here.


Attendees will hear from civic and business leaders on economic development opportunities in Central Louisiana

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is partnering with the Southern University Law Center (SULC) and the Southern University College of Business University Center for Economic Development to co-host the second annual Louisiana Rural and Economic (LaRuE) Development Summit, sponsored by T-Mobile, in Marksville, Louisiana, at Paragon Casino Resort on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12. LaRuE keynote speakers and panelists will include business executives, industry experts, state and local elected officials and candidates for political office.

LaRuE’s mission is to spur economic development in rural communities by connecting business owners with local, state and national leaders who are committed to improving economic opportunities in Louisiana’s rural communities. The conference is open to all economic development professionals, including business owners, small business developers, government officials, chamber of commerce professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, faculty and staff from all universities within the state of Louisiana, and students. Registration is also open to the public or to anyone interested in learning more about economic development in rural areas or doing business with tribal governments.

Originally debuted in 2019, and subsequently placed on a pandemic-induced hold, LaRuE returns at a critical time for small business owners who are trying to build or rebuild their enterprises in this ever-evolving landscape. LaRuE will cover the following topics through a series of lectures, panels and guest speakers:

  • 5G & Broadband Expansion and Technology Advancements and Opportunities
  • Agriculture Industry Opportunities and Medical Marijuana Overview
  • Affordable Housing and Current Funding Opportunities
  • Workforce Development and Job Training Programs and Initiatives
  • Healthcare and Mental Health
  • Working collaboratively with State and Federal Agencies and how to navigate state and federal funding
  • Creating and Improving Economic and Business Relationships with Native American Tribal Governments
  • Grant Funding and How to Navigate the Grants Process

The early registration fee is $199 per individual or organizations may sign up as a group for a discounted rate. Beginning August 12th, the price per individual increases to $249. Hotel room rates at the Paragon Casino Resort range from $99 to $129; to book a room please click here and use code LARS10G and password lars10g before August 28th. For details visit www.sulc.edu/larue and to register, click here.

“Historically, Native Americans and those residing in rural communities have been underserved and inherently separated from stable, high-paying opportunities,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “Our goal – through LaRuE and our other programs – is to bring the industry home. Instead of our rural Louisianians having to displace their families to find opportunities, we are bringing those opportunities to those who are willing, ready, and able to innovate and prosper in central Louisiana.”

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana has long supported and encouraged economic development and growth among Native Americans, including its citizens who reside in rural Louisiana. Already in 2023, the Tribe has secured more than $70 million in grants to assist in stabilizing and propelling its citizens through workforce development training, increased access to the internet and various small business supports. 

For more information on Southern University Law Center, visit www.sulc.edu.  

For more information on the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/.

Panel on The History of Culture & Language in Louisiana Features Tunica-Biloxi Language Instructor

The talk will be led by Dr. Kathe Managan, Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and will include the Tunica- Biloxi Tribe’s Elisabeth Pierite Mora, Language & Cultural Lifeways Instructor

Marksville, La. (June 21, 2023) –– Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin invites the public to attend a panel discussion on the history of languages and cultures in Louisiana as part of the upcoming exhibit, “Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories” at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

The discussion will be held on Tuesday, July 11, beginning at 6:00 p.m., focusing on how different languages and cultures have influenced and shaped Louisiana throughout history. This event is free and open to the public.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Kathe Managan, a Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Guest panelists include Maggie Justus, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) Community Development Specialist; Tia LeBrun, member of the United Houma Nation; and Elisabeth Pierite Mora, member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and Language & Cultural Lifeways Instructor.

Pierite Mora has played a vital role as an instructor for the Tribe’s Language and Cultural Revitalization Program (LCRP). LCRP aims to prepare future generations of Tribal citizens to lead successful, fulfilling lives and deeply understand their culture. Under the guidance of John Barbry, the LCRP’s director, the LCRP has successfully revived the Tunica language from “dormant” to “awakened,” a very rare occurrence in the linguistic community. Over 50 active speakers of the Tunica language and in-house linguists teach the language and work to expand the program.  Elisabeth will offer insights into the Tribe’s experience restoring language, a core tenant of culture, and her hands-on experience teaching and reclaiming the Tunica language.

Beginning in the 1870s, the US government attempted to educate and assimilate American Indians by placing children—of all ages, from thousands of homes and hundreds of diverse tribes—in distant, residential boarding schools. Many were forcibly taken from their families and communities and even forbidden to speak their own language amongst themselves. Native Americans responded to the often-tragic boarding school experience in complex and nuanced ways. Stories of student resistance, accommodation, creative resolve, devoted participation, escape, and faith in oneself and heritage speak individually across eras. The exhibit and panel will explore those experiences and their effects on culture and language.

Though records of the Tunica language can be traced back as early as 1886, efforts of reawakening the Tunica language began in 2010, and continue today, with the recent release of our textbook.

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Welcomes United Southern & Eastern Tribes to the 2023 Tribal Utility Finance Forum

USET hosts a Tribal Utility Finance Form at Paragon Casino Resort May 16 – 17

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana will host the United South & Eastern Tribes (USET) annual Tribal Utility Finance Form (TUFF) on May 16 – 17 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Paragon Casino Resort to discuss Tribal Nation funding and utility access. USET is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the federally recognized Indian tribes in the southern and eastern portions of the United States. 

“Because of our dedication to one another, we come together to connect with our ancestral roots and focus on bettering Indian Country,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, which owns Paragon Casino Resort. “We are grateful for the opportunity to host this national-scale forum and welcome various tribal communities to our homelands in Avoyelles Parish. Hopefully, all attendees will gain valuable insight into the history of our Tribe from their stay.”

Topics of the annual forum, including workforce retention, funding opportunities, cyber security and budgeting and planning, will be highlighted throughout TUFF. All USET Tribal Utility supervisors, managers, finance, planners and economic development staff members are encouraged to attend either in-person or virtually through the Attendee Website. Those interested in registering can RSVP here, and reservations through the Paragon Casino Resort can be booked by calling (800) 642-7777.


Hit for Hope Golf Tournament to Return to Paragon Casino Resort This Summer

United Way of Central Louisiana, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and Paragon Casino Resort to gather for the Hit for Hope Tunica-Biloxi Governors Cup on June 26

 On June 26, 2023, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and Paragon Casino Resort will host the United Way Hit for Hope Tunica-Biloxi Governors Cup, a golf tournament at the Tamahka Trail Golf Course benefiting ALICE programs through United Way of Central Louisiana. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) programs support working-class families in the community who may be unable to afford the basics of childcare, housing, food and healthcare. These individuals are often struggling to keep their households from financial ruin while keeping our local communities running.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and Paragon Casino Resort are dedicated to investing in our community’s well-being and future,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, which owns Paragon Casino Resort. “Thanks to partners like United Way, we are able to reach more families in need and provide them with the tools to succeed and care for their loved ones.”

Those interested are encouraged to register for the tournament and participate in a competitive and innovative 18-hole championship-level course golf tournament. Representatives from the Tribe, Paragon Casino Resort and United Way of Central Louisiana will all attend the event, as well as local leaders. 

“Our dedicated participants and partner organizations make this event possible,” said Michelle Purl, President and CEO of United Way of Central Louisiana.  “Each year, we look forward to gathering in support of our ALICE network and the most vulnerable populations in our community. We hope this year’s tournament is a great success, and look forward to a friendly, fun competition.”

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, Paragon Casino Resort and United Way of Central Louisiana have a long history of giving back to the region. In 2021, the tribe donated more than $1 million to charitable causes in Avoyelles Parish alone, with the help of partners like United Way.

Registration for this event and sponsorship opportunities including silver, gold and platinum levels can be found at https://www.uwcl.org/hit-hope