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Houma Tribe held pow-wow to honor and heal

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Nov 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-20 21:23:07-05

Indigenous peoples, of several tribal nations across the southern United States, gathered in Houma today to reunite after a devastating hurricane season.

Thomas Dardar Jr., former Chief of the United Houma Nation, reminisced how today's pow-wow was similar to one the community had 16 years ago.

"You see right after Katrina, people needed a break to see family. A few phone calls from people who said we needed a pow-wow. Followed by some phone calls to a few relatives and that is how we put this together," he said.

After two years in a pandemic, and a blow from Hurricane Ida, led the community to the spiritual gathering.

To Dardar, its about the tribe and the sense of family.

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"It's a getaway for everyone to get away from the stress of rebuilding. We heard positive news today from some elders who now has temporary home, and my Aunt Corrine who was out dancing today looked overjoyed."

And while the day was surrounded by the drum, fry bread, and Indian tacos, Dardar said he was able to reunite with his old pow-wow family- friend and emcee of the event, Herbert Johnson "Chickdog," of Livingston, Tx.

Both men lost their fathers this year. Dardar said the pow-wow was a time to honor them.

"COVID took a lot of people away. A lot of losses. So, it was a good time to see him and honor our fathers," he said.

Dardar said he could not have done this event without the help of Rose Behan and so many friends, "too many to name."

"It was a beautiful day with beautiful people," he said.

Head Staff of the pow-wow were:

  • Head Man: Kaliq Sims
  • Head Lady: Aaliyah Johnson
  • Head Gourd: Tony Conrad
  • Emcee: Chickdog
  • Host Drum: Medicine Horse Singers

While the Houma community is rebuilding, Dardar announces that The United Houma Nation will be planning an upcoming pow-wow this Spring, and the pow-wow circle will soon be dancing again.

To learn more about The United Houma Nation or to help with their recovery, click here.

Thomas Dardar, Jr. is also the Tribe's Indian Santa. To learn more, click here.

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