Marksville, La. – March 31, 2022 – The following is a statement from The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Chairman Marshall Pierite regarding the actions of the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District and the controversial “Indianettes” Disney World performance last week:
“Our Tribe puts a great deal of effort into educating both our Tribal citizens and the public on our rich language, culture and traditions. Native Americans across the nation have fought for generations to prove our inherent sovereignty and revitalize aspects of our heritage that were lost due to western law and devastating events throughout history.
The use of Native American mascots and symbols in a caricatural and derogatory manner greatly undermines all that Native Americans have been through and our efforts to uncover and share our culture accurately and respectfully. Offensive depictions such as this harm our children, disrespect our history, and should not be tolerated, anywhere.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana stands with the Cherokee Nation, the Florida Indigenous Alliance (FIA) and others who are condemning these actions. We urge the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District to immediately cease the offensive and insulting imagery, chanting, and symbolism.
Chairman, Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is committed to protecting the health, peace, morals, education and general welfare of its citizens and all Native Americans. Education is a key pillar of the Tribe’s mission and purpose which is why member of Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council and the Tribe’s Language and Culture Revitalization Program are available as a resource to educate the public on their history and culture as well as Indian Country as a whole. For more information on the Tribe’s culture, visit – https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/tribal-info/departments/language-culture-revitalization-program/.
About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,500 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunica.org and “like” us on Facebook.