ERA Assistance

The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is here to help our Tribal Citizens for relief of eviction related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The Housing Department is currently assisting all members who are experiencing difficult situations related to rental payments, utility payments, and past due notices due to the COVID-19 Pandemic if they meet the program guidelines for family composition and 80% of the median family income.

We are here to help you and your family stay in your home by providing safe, healthy, and sanitary conditions, and preventing over-crowdedness.

If you or someone in your family meet these criteria regardless of your geographic location, please contact us at 318-240-6447.  Requests for applications can be sent via email, fax, USPS mail or can be picked up at the Housing Department located at 135 Yuroni Trail in Marksville.

Secretarial Election FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Relating to the Upcoming Secretarial Election

Why is this upcoming election being called? 

The upcoming election is a Secretarial Election that is being called for the purpose of amending Article V, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. The election was requested by the Tribal Council.

What is a Secretarial Election?

A Secretarial Election is a Federal election conducted by the Secretary of Interior under a Federal statute or tribal governing document, such as the Constitution of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.  See 25 CFR § 81.4.

Why is the Department of the Interior running the election?

Article XVII, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana states:

This Constitution may be amended by a majority of the enrolled, qualified voters of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, voting in an election authorized for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior or his authorized representative, provided that at least thirty percent (30%) of those entitled to vote shall cast ballots in such election. No amendment shall become effective until it is approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Such election shall be conducted pursuant to the Secretary’s regulations.

Accordingly, in order to amend the Constitution, an election authorized by the Secretary of Interior and conducted pursuant to the Secretary’s regulations must take place.

How is the Secretarial Election being funded?

Secretarial Elections are Federal elections and are federally funded.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.16(a).

What happens if the constitutional amendment is approved? 

If a majority of enrolled, qualified voters vote to adopt the proposed constitutional amendment, the Secretary will approve the amendment within forty-five days after the Secretarial Election, at which point the amended language will take effect.  See 25 U.S.C. § 5123(d).

What happens if the constitutional amendment is denied? 

The current language in Article V, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana will remain unchanged.

Will members of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana be disenrolled if the constitutional amendment is adopted or denied?  

The Council has not taken a position on that question as they must wait for the outcome of the Secretarial Election to evaluate all available options in the best interest of the tribe.

How will votes be counted?

The Secretarial Election will be carried out by the Secretarial Election Board, composed of a Bureau of Indian Affairs employee and, at least, two tribal members.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.19(c).  Secretarial Elections are conducted entirely by mailout ballots.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.35.  All enrolled, qualified voters will receive a packet containing registration instructions and relevant information regarding the Secretarial Election.  See 25 C.F.R § 81.23, 81.35.  Eligible voters must register for the Secretarial Election in order to be able to vote.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.27.  All registered voters will then receive a mailout ballot, which will need to be sent and received by the deadline established by the Board.  After the deadline, the ballots will be counted under the supervision of the Board, both to determine the results of the vote and to determine whether total voter turnout was sufficient to meet the required 30% standard specified under the Constitution and Federal law.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.38.  The Board must then certify the results with all members of the Board present.  See 25 C.F.R. § 81.41.

Please feel free to contact a member of the Secretarial Election Committee if you have additional

questions.

Sincerely,

Secretarial Election Committee

Robert Johnson Sr.                                                                  

(318) 308-6593                                                                         

avorxj@paragoncasinoresort.com       

Elyse Lopez

(318) 500-1783

elopez@tunica.org

Tony Pierite                                                                              

(318) 481-3390                                                                         

avotpp@paragoncasinoresort.com

Patrick Lopez

(773) 242-0635

plopez358@gmail.com

Babette Bordelon                                                                    

(318) 240-0946                                                                         

bbordelon@tunica.org 

Richella Malveaux

(318) 359-1373

rmalveaux@mobiloansllc.com

You Are Invited to Create Your Citizens Portal Account!

The Tribal Council and I are excited to unveil a new feature on our Tribal website, the Citizen’s Portal. The portal will only be accessible to Tribal members and will create a way for you to stay informed on the Tribe. 

The goal of the Citizen’s Portal is to make it easier for all of our tribal members to stay involved in Tribal matters with the hope of building a tribe of many. In this portal you can expect to find important and confidential items like council meeting minutes and information on funds, programs and resources only available to you, our citizens. 

In addition, this portal will house other resources, including entrepreneurial opportunities and educational information. You’ll also begin to see more video updates from me and the Tribal Council on the latest developments for the Tribe and our progress. 

My hope is that this Citizen’s Portal increases our transparency and communication. Below you will find the steps to create your account. Please follow all of these steps and reach out to our Membership Director, Leslie Bonnette, if you have additional questions. 

Sincerely,
Chairman Marshall Pierite

Registration will require: 

  • Your tribal roll number, an active e-mail address and a password of your choice.

Please note – The Citizens Portal contains financial and other sensitive information that should not be shared with non-tribal citizens. The Citizens Portal is intended for tribal citizens only and a tribal roll number will be required to create a login. For this reason, spouses, parents and guardians who are not tribal citizens will not be permitted to access the portal. 

Directions on setting up your account:

To access your account from the Tunica-Biloxi website’s home page:

  • Go to TunicaBiloxi.org and click “Log In” at the top right, under the “Log In Here” title. 
  • Select “Click Here to Request Access to the Citizen’s Portal
  • To create your account, you will be asked to enter:
    • Your Tribal roll number – this will allow the Tribe to confirm your membership
    • An active e-mail address
    • A password of your choosing
  • You will need to agree to the Privacy Policy, which, in short, states that you agree, and are under legal obligation, not share any of the information in this portal with anyone outside of the Tribe or to release your login information to anyone outside of the Tribe. 
  • The Citizens Portal contains financial and other sensitive information that should not be shared with non-Tribal members. The Citizens Portal is intended for Tribal Members only, spouses, parents and guardians will not be permitted to access the Portal. 
  • Once you have signed up, please allow the Tribe 24-48 hours to verify your account. 

If you have any questions or need assistance getting access to the portal, please contact our Membership Director, Leslie Bonnette at LBonnette@tunica.org

Peace Circle Dedication Ceremony

The City of Grapevine, Texas, dedicated a Peace Circle statue garden on Saturday, September 18 honoring the Chiefs of ten American Indian nations who signed the Treaty of Bird’s Fort with Texas President Sam Houston in 1843.

“Peace Circle” is an interpretation of a moment in time of a meeting of Republic of Texas President Sam
Houston and 10 American Indian chiefs/ captains on the Grape Vine Prairie in 1843. The work of public
art features 11 bronze statues standing 1.25 percent larger than life size, representing Republic of Texas
President Sam Houston and American Indian chiefs/ captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco,
Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee Nations.

Sam Houston and the tribal leaders met in a spirit of friendship, peace, hope and trust in an effort to
establish a place – a line that would not be crossed – where the tribes could live in peace. The Peace
Circle meeting later led to the signing of the Treaty of Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843. This treaty
defined Indian Nations and European settlement boundaries and was one of the few Indian treaties ratified by the Republic of Texas Senate.

Watch the video of the statue reveal here.

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and Paragon Casino Resort Support Avoyelles Community Through $527,000 Contribution and Backpack Donation

Marksville, LA. – (Sept. 9, 2021) The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Tribal Council recently made two donations to Avoyelles Parish that will continue to benefit the local community. The first being Paragon Casino Resort’s contribution of $527,000 to the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury through their quarterly disbursement and the second is a donation of 200 backpacks to the Avoyelles Parish School Board.

“The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe is proud to continue to work with our Avoyelles Parish community through our mutually-beneficial partnership,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “The Tribe is delighted to continue to improve the community and these donations to the Avoyelles Parish School Board and other local groups will certainly help better the lives of Tribal citizens and all members of the community.”

The Tribe was able to make the financial contribution to Avoyelles Parish due to the success of Paragon Casino Resort, which is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Since Paragon Casino Resort opened its doors 26 years ago, the Tribe has been able to provide financial support to local entities through quarterly distributions. The Police Jury will disperse these funds to local law enforcement, the Avoyelles Parish School Board, and local municipalities.

“We are grateful for our relationship with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe,” said Police Jury President Kirby Roy. “When the Tribe succeeds, we all succeed thanks to the impact that they have on the surrounding community. We look forward to this continued partnership and the shared benefit it brings.”

To support the community as the new school year begins, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe also donated 200 backpacks to the Avoyelles Parish Public School Board for local children in need. The backpacks will help to ensure that local students have what they need to succeed during this upcoming school year.

“Going back to school can be challenging for kids, especially when they do not have the supplies and resources that their classmates have,” said Thelma Pratter, Interim Avoyelles Parish School Board Superintendent. “We are so grateful for the Tribe for recognizing this and making an effort to set our local students up for success.” 

Watching Ida: Paragon Rooms for Citizens

Following the latest developments with Tropical Storm Ida, we wanted to share several updates with you on accommodations and resources that are available to you. As mentioned previously, we encourage those in its path to reach out with any needs.
 
Impacts from the storm are expected starting on Saturday, August 28. We continue to watch the track and the storm’s progress. We hope that you and your families are taking all of the necessary precautions to prepare.

PARAGON ROOM BLOCK FOR TRIBAL CITIZENS

For your safety, we have reserved a block of rooms at Paragon Casino Resort, free of charge for Tribal citizens who live in the path of the storm. Rooms will be available from Sunday, August 29 to Tuesday, August 31. 

If you and your family are in need of a safe place to stay during the storms, we have included instructions below on our process for reserving a room. These rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis and Tribal citizens will be asked for their Tribal role number when booking. If your group is larger than four people, you will be allowed to book a second room. Please note, these rooms are intended for Tribal citizens only.

n addition to making shelter arrangements, we encourage all of our Tribal citizens to follow advisories from state and local officials as well as the National Weather Service and make the necessary preparations to shelter in place including stocking up on food, water and supplies. For recommended hurricane preparations, click here
Please also check-in on any Tribal elders or family members that might need assistance with these preparations.

We also advise that our Tribal citizens continue to take precautions to protect your health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) website and the CDC website.

Additionally, we are here for those who will be impacted by these weather events. If you or your family are in need, we ask that you fill out this form to apply for assistance through our Catastrophic Relief Fund.

We are in this together and will get through these difficult times. As we continue our response to Tropical Storm Ida and any other severe weather events through the remainder of the year, we encourage all of you to reach out to the Tribal Council with any needs you might have. Your health and safety is our top priority.

APPLY ONLINE:
To apply for a room in the Tunica-Biloxi evacuation block at Paragon Casino Resort, we ask that you fill out the form linked below. This will help us to better prepare for your visit and accommodate those in need in an efficient way. As a reminder, these rooms are for Tunica-Biloxi citizens only. 

Apply for a room at Paragon.

APPLY OVER THE PHONE:
Tunica-Biloxi citizens are also welcome to call to request a room at Paragon. Please have your tribal role numbers prepared. 

To request a room, please call the Tribe’s Social Service Department at 318-240-6444 or 318-240-6455.

Meet your new CMO: Dr. Mays!

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Dana Mays to the Tunica-Biloxi community. Dr. Mays stepped into the role of Chief Medical Officer on February 1, 2021 and has already made a huge impact on Tribal citizens and employees. 

Dr. Mays, along with Dr. Webb, and all of our healthcare employees, have done an excellent job of keeping our community safe and healthy through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’d like to personally thank all of our Tunica-Biloxi healthcare workers for keeping our community healthy and safe always, but especially during this pandemic. We are grateful for you all every day, and are excited to add Dr. Mays to this first-class team.” – Chairman Marshall Pierite

“My new work with the Tribe is both exciting and in line with what I’ve always practiced – allowing my patients to have better primary care that supports the whole body: physically, mentally, spiritually, and any other needs they may have,” Dr. Mays commented. “This is a wonderful opportunity and I look forward to continuing to offer top notch medical care to those friends and neighbors throughout my community.”

In her most recent role, Dr. Mays provided contracted physician services to the central Louisiana community through her practice, Yapha MD, offering personalized, high-quality, accessible care from a kind and loving family physician. Dr. Mays will continue to operate her clinic in Pineville, LA in addition to her work with the Tribe

The Tunica-Biloxi health department strives to provide quality and professional healthcare to all of our members and their families on a personal level. The care provided by Dr. Mays and her team is critical in both preventing and addressing any medical concerns Tribal citizens may have and to promote a healthy lifestyle and general overall wellness.  

To make an appointment with a member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Health Center, please call (318) 240-6435. 

Welcome our new teachers!

We are excited to announce the addition of three new Academic Counselors to the Education Department! Antonio Brown, stationed in the Chicago branch office, provides support to families in the Illinoi Group, Julie Zahn, stationed at the American Indian Center of Houston, supports families in the Texas group and Leslie Carmouche, stationed in Marksville, supports students (grades K-5) in the Louisiana Group. Please join us in welcoming these teachers to our community.

They will be reaching out to parents and students soon!

Lapuya ‘Akawitiki (Welcome)!!!!