Hit for Hope Golf Tournament Returns to Paragon Casino Resort on June 24

Annual charity golf tournament aims to raise funds for working-class families in central Louisiana

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, in partnership with the United Way of Central Louisiana and Paragon Casino Resort, is proud to announce the annual Hit for Hope Golf Tournament. This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 24, 2024, at the Tamahka Trails Golf Club, Paragon Casino Resort, in Marksville, LA.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) programs through United Way of Central Louisiana. These programs support working-class families who may struggle to afford essential needs such as childcare, housing, food, and healthcare.

“The Hit for Hope Golf Tournament exemplifies the spirit of unity and collaboration within our community,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “We are honored to partner with United Way of Central Louisiana to support the ALICE programs, which provide crucial assistance to working families facing financial challenges. We look forward to a successful event that not only brings people together but also makes a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need.”

Participants can look forward to an 18-hole championship-level golf tournament. The event will begin with registration at 8 AM, followed by a shotgun start at 9 AM. Representatives from the Tribe, Paragon Casino Resort, and United Way of Central Louisiana, as well as local leaders, will attend the event.

“We are grateful for the continued support from the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and Paragon Casino Resort, and we look forward to another successful tournament,” said Michelle Purl, President and CEO of United Way of Central Louisiana. “The funds raised will directly impact the ALICE programs, ensuring that families in central Louisiana have access to the resources they need to thrive.”

Registration for the tournament and sponsorship opportunities, including silver, gold, and platinum levels, are available. Interested parties are encouraged to register by June 20, 2024. Sponsorships and donations can be made via business or cashier’s checks payable to United Way of Central Louisiana. For more information, contact Ananda Flanagan at 318.443.7203 ext.1 or Ananda@uwcl.org, or Spencer Galland at 318.500.0002 or sgalland@tunica.org.

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Announces Free Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Program in Texas

New health initiatives to offer free cancer screenings for Native Americans and underserved communities

Click here for an event flyer

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is proud to announce a new health initiative offering free cervical and breast cancer screenings to Native Americans, uninsured, and underinsured individuals in Texas. This program, a collaboration with the Native Healthcare Center in Houston, aims to provide essential health services to those in need, regardless of ethnicity, background, or socioeconomic status.

Starting June 22, 2024, and continuing every third Saturday of the month, the Native Healthcare Center located at 10485 Northwest Freeway, Houston, Texas, will host these screenings. The program seeks to empower and provide access to vital health screenings for the diverse Native American community and beyond.

This initiative is made possible through the combined efforts of the American Indian Cancer Foundation’s Screen Our Circle program, Jenny Khan, NP, a Tunica-Biloxi Tribe member, and Doris Aguilar, Clinical Outreach Coordinator. Their dedication ensures this program will significantly impact the fight against cervical and breast cancer.

“We are committed to supporting the health and well-being of our community,” said Jenny Khan, NP. “This program is a step towards ensuring everyone has access to crucial cancer screenings, regardless of their financial situation.”

For more information about eligibility or to schedule an appointment, please contact Jenny Khan at 713-309-6417 or Doris Aguilar at 832-464-5027.

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

LaRuE Louisiana Rural Economic Development Summit

July 22-23, 2024

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is proud to announce the third annual Louisiana Rural and Economic (LaRuE) Development Summit in Marksville, Louisiana, at Paragon Casino Resort on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23, 2024. LaRuE keynote speakers and panelists will include business professionals, industry experts, state and local elected officials. They will cover topics such as grant funding, rural economic development, agriculture, education, technology and more.  

LaRuE’s mission is to spur economic development in rural communities by educating and informing business owners on how to benefit from relationship building and creating strategic partnerships with local, state and national agencies, corporate America and Native American Tribes.

SESSIONS

  • Rural Healthcare
  • Finance / Business Development /Entrepreneurship
  • Technology / Broadband / Digital Equity
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Local / Rural Governments

TOPICS

  • Grant Funding
  • Communication /Marketing in Small Communities
  • Rural Economic Development
  • Personal & Professional Development for Women in Rural Communities

TUNICA-BILOXI TRIBE ANNOUNCES THIRD ANNUAL RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FORUM

Attendees will hear from civic and business leaders on opportunities in rural healthcare, entrepreneurship, business development, technology and more.

Click here to register for the Summit

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is proud to announce the third annual Louisiana Rural and Economic (LaRuE) Development Summit in Marksville, Louisiana, at Paragon Casino Resort on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23, 2024. LaRuE keynote speakers and panelists will include business professionals, industry experts, state and local elected officials. They will cover topics such as grant funding, rural economic development, agriculture, education, technology and more.  

LaRuE’s mission is to spur economic development in rural communities by educating and informing business owners on how to benefit from relationship building and creating strategic partnerships with local, state and national agencies, corporate America and Native American Tribes.

“Ultimately, our goal is to bring industry home. LaRuE aims to provide opportunities and education on a local level so that rural Louisianians don’t have to relocate their families to find work. We are bringing prospects to those ready and willing to innovate and thrive in central Louisiana,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “Native Americans and rural communities have historically been underserved and excluded from stable, high-paying opportunities. Through our efforts, we are one step closer to prosperity for all – not just some.”  

Originally debuted in 2019, LaRuE returns for a third year during a critical time for small and rural business owners who are building their enterprises in an ever-changing landscape. LaRuE will cover the following topics through a series of lectures, panels and guest speakers:

  • Healthcare Trends, Challenges and Innovations
  • Rural Economic Development Opportunities
  • Bridging the Digital Gap and Advancing Digital Equity
  • Harvesting Opportunities: Exploring Agriculture in Rural Communities
  • Grant Funding and How to Navigate the Grants Process

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 open to the public or anyone interested in learning more about economic development in rural areas or doing business with tribal governments.

The early registration fee is $99 per individual. Organizations may sign up as a group for a discounted rate. For details click here.

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.

Registration Now Open for the 26th Annual American Indigenous Tourism Conference

AITC, scheduled for October 28-31, 2024, at Paragon Casino Resort, is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and will be held on the tribal homelands of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana in Marksville, Louisiana

To register and learn more about AITC, visit www.aianta.org/aitc.

Registration is now open for the 26th Annual American Indigenous Tourism Conference (AITC), which will be held on the tribal homelands of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, October 28-31, 2024, at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana and organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA).

This marks the first year as the newly renamed American Indigenous Tourism Conference. The name change was unveiled at the 25th Annual AITC in October 2023 to reflect inclusivity of all U.S. Indigenous people. AIANTA, the only national organization dedicated to advancing cultural tourism in Native Nations and communities across the United States, will celebrate 26 years at AITC this year as the leader in Indigenous tourism. Each year, the AITC attracts more than 300 attendees who participate for second-to-none networking opportunities, high-level keynote sessions and informative breakout sessions led by some of the hospitality industry’s leading experts.

American Indigenous Tourism Conference

Date: October 28-31, 2024

Location: Paragon Casino Resort

711 Paragon Place

Marksville, LA 71351

The theme of this year’s American Indigenous Tourism Conference (AITC), “Cultural Tourism: Changing the Narrative”, underscores the transformative journey of native nations and communities in reshaping the narrative that has long been shaped by external forces. The narrative, once crafted and disseminated by others, is now being reclaimed and redefined by Indigenous voices themselves. This paradigm shift signifies a departure from the outdated notion of representation without participation; instead, it heralds a new era of collaboration and ownership, where Indigenous perspectives, rooted in centuries-old traditions and wisdom, take center stage.

“It is a pivotal moment for Indigenous peoples as they assert their agency, share their stories authentically, and showcase their rich cultural heritage,” said AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert. “In essence, this year’s AITC theme marks a resounding call for recognition, respect, and empowerment—a testament to the resilience and vitality of Indigenous communities. AIANTA is proud to partner with our AITC host the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana to bring best-in-class education, training and networking opportunities, as American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-owned hospitality businesses continue to contribute to the growing tourism and hospitality sector in the U.S.,” said Rupert.

This year’s AITC will take place at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana, which since opening its doors in 1994 has become one of the top gaming destinations in Louisiana. The property features an impressive lineup of amenities and attractions, including more than 1,000 slot machines and 30 tables, including live poker and sports betting; three hotel towers with more than 500 well-appointed rooms and suites; full-service spa and salon; Topgolf Swing Suite game simulators; 18-hole championship golf course with a pro shop and restaurant; indoor tropical pool & two outdoor pools; a bayou-themed atrium featuring a live alligator habitat; a three-screen movie theater; several bars & restaurants, including a steakhouse and a buffet; full-service RV resort & cabins; Cyber Quest arcade & Kids Quest supervised play center; and over 75,000 square feet of meeting space, including an expansive showroom for concerts and conventions.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is very proud of what Paragon Casino Resort can offer visitors. We are excited to extend a warm welcome to all attendees of the American Indigenous Tourism Conference, inviting them to experience our home and immerse themselves in our rich culture,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “We strive to bring progress and opportunities to our Native American brothers and sisters. We are honored to work with AIANTA to move that mission forward and succeed in our common quest of enriching the lives of all Indigenous people.”

Mobile workshops are an AITC tradition as AIANTA partners with the local host Tribe to showcase Native tourism experiences around the conference host site. On Monday, October 28, discover the natural wonders of Central Louisiana with Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Citizens on their Spring Bayou Boat and Sightseeing Tour before indulging in Cajun country’s finest culinary delights, including the renowned “cochon de lait” (pig roast) and a savory shrimp boil. A second mobile workshop invites guests to an enriching journey through the “Tunica Treasure” exhibit at the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center to discover a vast collection of Native American European trade items and artifacts deposited as grave goods by the Tunica between 1731 and 1764, and more.

A favorite AITC event, the Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala, will honor the best and brightest across Indigenous tourism including Indigenous Destination of the Year, Best Cultural Heritage Experience, Excellence in Customer Service, and Industry Professional Award. This event is accompanied by dinner and a silent auction on Wednesday, October 30. The auction raises funds for AIANTA’s tourism and hospitality scholarship program.

Conference registration begins at $525 for AIANTA members who register by the early bird deadline (June 30, 2024). A select number of exhibitor spaces are available at $800 per booth for members and $1,000 for non-members. As with previous years, the conference will also feature a Business of Art Seminar and Native Art Market, and artisans are encouraged to register for a table. AITC attendees who register by early bird deadline of June 30 will be entered into a drawing for one overnight stay at the Paragon Casino Resort during the 26th Annual AITC, where two winners will be chosen. To register and learn more about AITC, visit www.aianta.org/aitc.

For more than 25 years, AIANTA has worked to address inequities in the tourism system and has served as the national voice for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian nations engaged in cultural tourism, while providing technical assistance, training and capacity building to Native Nations and communities and Native-owned enterprises engaged in tourism, hospitality, and recreation.

Native Nations and communities who are looking to start or expand their cultural tourism footprint can find resources at www.aianta.org and visitors interested in learning more about Native culture can visit www.nativeamerica.travel.

About AIANTA
For more than 25 years, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the only national organization dedicated to advancing cultural heritage tourism in Native Nations and communities across the United States. Established by tribes for tribes to address inequities in the tourism system, AIANTA is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit governed by an all-Native board of directors and serves as a united voice for the $15.7 billion Native hospitality sector. AIANTA’s successful legislative work led to the industry-changing Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act (NATIVE Act) funding in 2018, as Indian Country Tourism was recognized through federal appropriations via NATIVE Act implementation. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow, and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian (AIANNH) tourism that honors traditions and values while helping AIANNH businesses become market/export ready for domestic and international markets.

About The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe & Paragon Casino Resort
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near south of Marksville in east-central Louisiana. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,800 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois. The modern Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is composed of Tunica, Biloxi (a Siouan-speaking people from the Gulf coast), Ofo (also a Siouan people), Avoyel (a Natchezan people), and Choctaw. Although ancestry is typically intermixed through marriages, tribal members typically identify either as Tunica, Biloxi or Biloxi-Choctaw. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, a premier casino resort destination and one of the largest employers in Central Louisiana. Paragon features slots, table games, sports betting, 500+ rooms/suites, dining options (steakhouse, buffet), 18-hole golf course, spa/salon, movie theater, childcare, pools/fitness center, RV park, and more. For more information about Paragon Casino Resort, visit www.paragoncasinoresort.com. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunicabiloxi.org

Paragon Casino Resort and Tunica-Biloxi Tribe to Host Free Public Health & Wellness Expo

Paragon Casino Resort and the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana are eager to combine their annual health fairs into one, big Health & Wellness Expo for all members of the public to take part in.

All ages are welcome to the free Health & Wellness Expo to receive health screenings, learn more about community resources and the latest healthcare trends and get active with various fitness stations. The expo will also have plenty of activities for kids, food and drinks, speakers and door prizes. Those who donate canned or dry food goods will receive one extra door prize drawing ticket. All proceeds will support the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.

Vendors interested in having a FREE booth have until May 1 to apply by calling Jamie Williams at (318) 402-9032 or emailing jwilliams@paragoncasinoresort.com.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Paragon Casino Resort – Mári Showroom

711 Paragon Place

Marksville, LA 71351

Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival Headed to Paragon Casino Resort!

The Arts Council of Avoyelles is joining forces with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and Paragon Casino Resort to bring the 12th annual Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival to the Paragon Casino Resort. A bold, new experience awaits festival goers at Louisiana’s July 4th destination!

“Paragon has served this community for 30 years and our involvement in the parish has been our most valued mission,” says Paragon Casino Resort General Manager Marshall Ray Sampson, Sr. “I can’t think of a better way to show our love and appreciation than to lend our grounds to host the largest and most anticipated festival of the year.”

This exciting move will include entertainment in the cool, air-conditioned Mari Showroom, arts and crafts in the grand hall and, as always, plenty of kid-friendly activities.

“The heart of the festival remains the same,” explains Allison Augustine, President of the Avoyelles Arts Council. “Our goal is to highlight art and music in our region while bringing the community together to celebrate our nation’s birthday,” she added.

The Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival combines everything you know and love about the Fourth of July, from the longest-running July 4th parade in the state, live music from Louisiana musicians, festival queens, food booths, a car show, a dazzling fireworks display and more!

The festival brings over 3,000 visitors to Marksville every year. “The Avoyelles Arts & Music Festival is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience the hospitality and culture that Avoyelles has to offer,” says Wilbert Carmouche, Executive Director of the Avoyelles Tourism Commission.

The festival is Thursday, July 4, beginning with a parade through Marksville at 10:00 a.m. and opening ceremonies at Paragon Casino Resort following immediately after.

For more details and information on becoming a sponsor or vendor, please visit www.avoyellesarts.com/avoyellesartsandmusicfestival.

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.

TUNICA-BILOXI TRIBE OF LOUISIANA ANNOUNCES 7TH ANNUAL INTERTRIBAL BASKETRY SUMMIT

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.