by: Belinda Brooks
Members gathered Saturday, December 14th, at the Pace Community Center in Natchitoches, Louisiana, to hold the 2019 Winter Quarterly Business Meeting.
The opening ceremony was given in honor of the passing of Council Chief Terry A. Desadier, aka “War Bonnet,”acting Treasurer of Butte Tribe at the time of his death. The observance began with a blessing by Butte Tribe Spiritual Leader George Holland, husband of Joann Desadier Holland and brother-in-law of the late Terry Desadier. Terry was an active part of the Butter drum team. Attention was then drawn to the stage where the drums were steadily beating the sounds that Terry was so use to playing for his people. In his empty space was place his war bonnet and drum sticks. The singers sang to close the ceremony.
Butte Chief Rodger Collum named Council Chief Brad Desadier of Montgomery, Louisiana, to the position of Butte Tribe Treasurer. Brad continues his roll as Council Chief. This will be an added duty that he will perform for the tribe. Council Chief Darlene Thompson Hargrove continues to serve the tribe as Butte Tribe Secretary and will work side by side with the treasurer. The financials of the tribe are ran by the chief, treasurer and secretary.
Purchasing land on Bayou Bourbeaux is the first step to be taken by the Butte Tribe in constructing the future Butte Native American Cultural Building. Chief Rodger Collum announced that he is presently looking at four pieces of property in the bayou area. Cost, size, and location were discussed by members. Questions were asked, discussed and a vote was taken. Members agreed that the purchase of land in the bayou area was the right way for the tribe to go and that they would stand behind the chief on the purchase of the right piece of land.
Presentation of membership cards followed business discussion. A total of 80 members were added to the Butte Tribe’s roll which brings the total roll to an “active” 450 membership roll. Several members were present to receive their cards personally from their chief.
The second presentation of the day was a presentation of honor, the “Giving of Feathers.” Within the Butte Tribe, only those members who have earned their feathers may wear feathers. To earn feathers, the member must perform a task or tasks that is determined by a chief to be worthy of wearing feathers. Only a chief may make this decision. When the decision is made, a ceremony is held in honor of those who have earn their feathers. Numerous members earned their feathers this quarter.
A special presentation of feathers was given to Raven Trichell, a 4th grade Butte Tribe member, who took 1st place honors at her school systems history fair with a historical display of the Butte Indians. She will be traveling to regionals at the first of the year.
Ending the day’s events were two activities. After potluck lunch, all members were invited to hunt arrowheads at the Brooks Mound off of Hwy 1226 near Chivery Dam in Natchitoches Parish. The natural setting was the perfect family event for adults and children. Finding arrowheads created questions in the minds of the children that required answers. Night time brought the Butte Christmas Dance. The surrounding community was invited to join in with the Butte Tribe. Music was provided by the Martin Brother Band. The members of this band are all family members of the Butte Tribe. We appreciate the support that they give to their tribe.