Winter 2019 Tribe Meeting

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.

Brad Desadier
Treasurer, Council Chief
Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux

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.

Chief Rodger Collum welcoming home new member Ashton Curtis as Ashton receives his Butte membership card. Ashton is a descendant of Elliott & Lora Trichell. His bloodline includes Texas & Chitmacha blood ties. He, also, has bloodlines with Lower-Caddo Indians.

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. 

Chief Collum speaks to his people about the importance of earning feather and wearing them.

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.

Sending a Great Chief Home

by: Belinda Brooks

Members of the Butte Tribe met to pay homage to Council Chief Terry Allen Desadier Sr., Tuesday, December 10th, 2019, at Christian Harmony Baptist Church in Pace Community, Natchitoches Parish.  Bro. James Lovell and Bro. Jerry Martin officiated. 

Butte Chief Rodger Collum spoke of a lifetime friendship with his cousin, Terry.  As far back as he could remember, Terry and he were in charge of burying their family members, as Collum put it, “…putting them in the ground,” of which the last count was 69.   Chief Collum told of Terry’s pride of being a part of the tribe drum team, of earning his feathers and of just being a part of the Butte family.  Terry was the official administrative Butte Treasurer and will certainly be missed by all who knew and loved him.  Following the Chief’s remembrances, the Butte tribal singers sang a Native American song in their native language in honor of their blood brother’s home-going.

Terry was born on January 3, 1947, to Henry Roy (1918-1985) and Pearl Frederick Desadier (1909-1982) of Natchitoches, Louisiana.   Through both his father and mother, Terry claims Texas Mission, Chitimacha and Caddo Indian bloodline.  He was the grandson of Clarence and Lou Ella Waters Desadier.  Clarence was the previous family/tribe leader.  Terry would often laugh and have stories to tell about his grandparents and happenings in the family life at Bayou Bourbeaux.  Being a descendant of Clarence Desadier put Terry in a direct line of lineage to White Smoke, the first chief of what is known today as the Butte Indians, and his wife, Two Moons.  Other Native American ancestors in his lineage were the captive Chitimacha sisters, Marie Theresa de La Grande Terre, wife of Jacque Guedon; her sister,  Marie Jeanie De La Grande Terre, wife of Francis Derbanne; Texas Mission Indian, Angelique who bore children by Charles Dumont; Ann of the Caddos, wife of Jean Baptist Breville; and others.

Terry served in the United States Army and was very proud of his patriotic service. Terry retired from Haynes International after many years of service in the maintenance department. During his free time, he enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing with family and friends. Having an easy-going personality, he instantly made friends with anyone he met. Terry was a proud member of the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux and served as treasurer for the chief council for many years. He was a long-time member of Pine Grove Baptist Church in Castor and enjoyed fellowship with his church family. His most prized possession on earth was the relationship with his family. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and always put their needs ahead of his own. He will be dearly missed by all that knew and loved him.

He is survived by his children, Tammy Desadier Goodman, David Desadier, and Terry “Tad” Desadier, Jr., and his wife Crystal; a sister, JoAnne Holland and husband George; grandchildren, Austin Desadier, Autumn Rojas, Victoria Desadier, Preston Desadier, Colton Desadier, Tanner Goodman, James Prestage, Jacie Prestage, Maranda Desadier, Marisa Desadier, Bethany Temple, Travis Hargrave and Nick Newton; as well as 11 great-grandchildren.

Butte Tribe Raises Territorial Marker

By Joshua L. Johnson, BTBB Reporter

Marking the location of the Louisiana historical territory of the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux (BTBB) ancestors is the purpose for the new sign that has been placed at the intersection of LA Hwy 84 & 1226 at Trichell Community in Natchitoches Parish. For the past 200 plus years, this location has seen Butte descendants pass through its portals. Hundreds of these descendants remain residents of this community today.

The sign designed by Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks features Butte’s tribal totem, the black bear, Kojak; the Butte tribe’s seal; and, the name of the current Butte chief since the early 1970’s, Chief Rodger Collum. A very special thank you goes out to Chief Rodger Collum who coordinated this project in such a timely manner. Assisting him with the erection of the sign was Mike Carter, Keith Hernandez and April Womack. Their volunteer time and efforts to this project are greatly appreciated. This sign represents an important stepping stone for BTBB as well as the Bayou Bourbeaux community whose love for this tribal land is unquestionable.