Reclaiming Native Ground

Island Road connects Pointe-au-Chien with Isle de Jean Charles. At high tide, the road can be completely covered with water, making it impassable for school buses. Photo by Edmund D. Fountain.

For centuries, the bayous and lowlands of coastal Louisiana have fed the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe. From cattle to crabs, oranges to okra, the fertile landscape provided almost everything they needed to eat. But now, the land is disappearing, and the Pointe-au-Chien are joining together with other tribes to figure out what to do next.

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Pointe-au-Chien Tribe Photos
Photography by Edmund D. Fountain.

In this episode of Gravy, Barry Yeoman reports on the rich food traditions of tribes in South Louisiana, the threat to them posed by coastal land loss, and intertribal efforts towards solutions.

This piece was produced in collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network and The Lens.

  • You can learn more about the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe here.
  • You can learn more about the First People’s Conservation Council, which is leading intertribal efforts towards food sovereignty, here.
  • Check out geographer Rebekah Jones’ interactive web site about the Pointe-au-Chien here.
  • For a comprehensive explanation of coastal land loss and what’s causing it, check out ProPublica/Lens “Losing Ground” land-loss project here.