20231202 Butte Tribe – Natchitoches Christmas Parade

By Belinda Brooks

Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux gathered at Northwestern University on Saturday to bring in the Christmas season at the 2023 Natchitoches Christmas Parade. The day began at 4:30 AM in the rain for Chief Rodger Collum and his helpers. After transporting the float, trailers, and Apache, the chief’s parade horse, members filtered into the university facility to begin decorating Butte Tribe’s new float.

Chief Collum, a professional commercial contractor in the Central and North Louisiana area, took it upon himself to design and build the new Butte Tribe float to coded safety standards required by law. The 8’x30’x11.8′ structure was a stunning sight to behold on the cobble streets of Natchitoches.   Along with the project’s funding by the Butte Tribe, Collum added thousands of dollars of his own money to ensure the safety of float passengers and spectators. His attention to detail and pride in his tribe are only a few things that draw love and respect from his tribe.

Butte Tribe’s parade entry was the featured online troop for the 2023 Natchitoches Christmas Parade. Approximately sixty Butte Tribe members were present and participated in the day’s activities. More than forty members dressed in red tribal shirts and black pants to enjoy the maiden voyage of Chief Collum’s masterpiece. Butte Tribe’s very own Native American Santa, Greylen Barnett, was clad in Santa’s red and white holiday suit, wearing a Native American white feathered war bonnet. Beside Santa sat Butte Tribe’s first lady, Charlia Collum, and the chief’s granddaughter, Aurora. 

The Butte Tribe entourage was a big hit on the parade route, where thousands of fans lined the streets. Parade onlookers, as always, loved Chief Collum’s parade horse, Apache. The chief entertained the onlookers with his antics of horsemanship as more than thirty tribal members dressed in Native American regalia lined the streets wishing all a “Merry Christmas.”

To read more about the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux, go to BUTTETRIBE.ORG.