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Coushatta Tribe swears in new chairman, council members

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 18:21:52-04

KINDER, LA— The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana held an inauguration ceremony for its three newly elected officials on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at Coushatta Casino Resort’s Grand Ballroom, located in the resort’s new Conference Center.

Jonathan Cernek, Loretta Williams and Kristian Poncho join Crystal Williams and Kevin Sickey on the five-member Coushatta Tribal Council.

Jonathan Cernek, who has served on the Coushatta Tribal Council for the past eight years, was sworn in as the Tribe’s new Chairman. He has held the positions of Vice-Chairman and Council Member in the past years. Cernek will begin his four-year term as Tribal Chairman.

Loretta Williams was sworn in for her second four-year term on the Tribal Council, and Kristian Poncho was sworn in to begin his inaugural four-year term as Tribal Council Member.

Chief Judge of the Coushatta Tribal Court Judge Daniel Stretcher administered the oath of office to the newly elected officials.

The ceremony featured welcoming comments by Coushatta Junior Princess Brianna Langley, a song performed by Aniyah Williams, plus performances by tribal dancers and LA Redtail Singers drum group. Hunter Burridge served as Master of Ceremonies.

After taking his oath of office, Chairman Cernek spoke at length of his vision for the Tribe’s future and his mission of fellowship.

Cernek stated, “The greatest things in life happen with teamwork. My immediate goal is to inspire and promote unity throughout our tribe. We have so many great minds with the motivation to succeed. Our people continue to be our greatest resource. The future of the Coushatta Tribe looks promising, and I am excited to take the role as Chairman and lead this Tribal Council with a servant’s heart.”

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana owns and operates Coushatta Casino Resort, which employs more than 1,450 area residents. For more information about the Tribe, visit the website at

Coushatta Casino Resort is located in Kinder, Louisiana on US Highway 165 (I-10 exit 44) and features over 2,000 slots and more than 65 table games including live poker, plus live bingo and off-track betting. Phone 800-584-7263 for more information, or visit the website at