History was made today for Butte Tribe! The Louisiana Historical Highway Marker for Chief White Smoke was revealed today by Chief Rodger Collum. Chief Collum remarked that he had dreamed of this day for many years. Without a doubt, he knows that this is the day that his ancestors prepared him for.
The dedication of White Smoke’s Memorial Louisiana Highway Marker was attended by friends and family.
Photo Caption: Chief White Smoke’s Highway Marker
Photo Caption: Chief Rodger Collum and Council Chief Joshua Johnson
Photo Caption: Chief Rodger Collum with his wife Charlia Presley Collum
Butte Tribe Council met Friday, February 18th, at the home of Chief Rodger Collum in Natchitoches, LA. Council members gathered to discuss the 2022 Butte Tribe Emergency Preparedness and Healthy Tribe Initiative Action Plan. Plans include but are not limited to the implementation of a comprehensive health plan. Butte Tribe is working in conjunction with the Bureau of Minority Health Access, Louisiana Department of Health, Executive Director Durand “Rudy” Macklin. The Council met virtually with Macklin and Council members T Estella Almond and Belinda Haag. Pictured L-R: Belinda Brooks, Joshua Johnson, Chief Rodger Collum, Tammy Perot, Darlene Thompson Hargrove, and Becky Dye.
Rudy Macklin, Executive Director of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Minority Health Access, met with the Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux council to discuss the process of Butte Tribe’s Emergency Preparedness and Healthy Tribe Initiative. Butte Tribe has been recognized as one of the few tribes within the State of Louisiana that works for the betterment of their people on a consistent basis.
On March 19, 2022, Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux (BTBB) will hold a tribal gathering to dedicate the Louisiana Historical Marker honoring the first chief of BTBB. White Smoke’s oral history can be read online at ButteTribe.org (Chiefs’ History).
BTBB is known as the “Hidden Tribe of Louisiana.” The tribal land is full of historical locations that are recorded in their oral history. Butte Hill, guarded for over 200 years, was secretly an indigenous burial mound. Chief White Smoke and his wife, Two Moons, are buried there. White Smoke was buried standing up hold his sacred pipe with his coup stick beside him.
Chief Rodger Collum lives on the same land as the previous five chiefs lived and died on. Within 50 feet of his front door is the tribal temple mound. This mound has revealed numerous artifacts of pre and post European explorer age.
History tells of the buffalo prairie land that covered the backside of the tribal land. Hundreds of years ago, BTBB’s indigenous ancestors hand-carried hills of sand to the prairie land to create a huge buffalo lick. Buffalo would go to the lick to roll around on the sand to rid themselves pesty, biting insects. When that happened, the natives would make their kill.
Jewel Springs, a mystic native spring, is found near the prairie land. When sick and in need of healing, natives would travel there to lay in the mystic water.