Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Receives Grant to Enhance Academic Resources for Tribal Youth from U. S. Department of Education

Funds will provide increased educational support services and programming

Marksville, LA – (Oct. 8, 2020) – The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana’s Education Program (TBEP) has been selected to receive a grant from the United States Department of Education’s Indian Education Discretionary Grant Program to enhance the Tribe’s existing education efforts for its tribal children across the United States.

The grant will allow the Tribe to provide increased support services and enhanced programs to help improve the education outcomes among tribal youth. Specifically, it will allow the Tribe to continue and expand services to tribal youth in grades K-12 and provide in-person and online tutoring services, home school support resources, education counseling and mentorship, ACT/SAT prep, supplemental learning centers, additional language classes and cultural workshops, special education services and support for tribal students with disabilities.

“We are incredibly honored to have been selected to receive this grant by the Indian Education Discretionary Grant Program,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “The education and success of our tribal youth is imperative to the prosperity of our community and we are hopeful this much needed support will result in higher scholastic achievements for our youth for years to come.”

While the Tribe already provides a number of educational services free of charge to Tribal citizens, such as tutoring, mentoring, college and career planning and other services, it is critical for the future of the Tribe to increase the educational resources offered to their youth.

An assessment by the Tunica-Biloxi Education Department in 2019 found that the Tunica-Biloxi tribal youth are performing one to two grade levels below their non-tribal counterparts on average. Additionally, many begin experiencing academic difficulty early in their education which can continue to high school. Through the grant, the Tribe will increase educational resources by expanding to grades k-5 and making support available to all Tunica-Biloxi students regardless of residence, providing the appropriate services as well as fund the providers needed to enact those services.

“We strive to support our tribal youth consistently and want to help them succeed academically and prepare for college or vocational training when they graduate from high school,” said John Barbry, Director of Development & Programing for the Tunica-Biloxi Education Program.  “This is why we have worked so hard to design a plan which we know will take our youth’s education to the next level. This grant will help us to put our plans into action.”

For more information on the Tunica Biloxi Education Program (TBEP), visit – https://www.tunicabiloxi.org/programs-services/tunica-biloxi-education-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 1,200 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