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Jun 20, 2010 3:17 PM

Houma Nation swears in 1st new chief in 13 years

HOUMA, La. (AP) The United Houma Nation's first new chief in more than a decade says the Gulf of Mexico oil spill threatens the tribe's connection with land and water but should not drive them out.

Fifty-four-year-old Thomas Dardar Jr. of Houma was sworn in Saturday to replace Brenda Dardar-Robichaux, who was principal chief for 13 years and served the maximum terms under the tribal constitution.

Dardar ran unopposed.

He told several hundred people that they may feel overwhelmed by the oil spill and by the hurricanes of 2005 and 2008, but should remember that they come from resilient people. He said he plans to continue seeking federal recognition for the tribe of 17,000.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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