By: Belinda Brooks
Saturday, March 14th, Butte Tribe members met for their Spring 2020 seasonal meeting with approximately 100 members attending. The meeting was held at the Pace Recreation Center in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Special guest was Eric Kirkendall, Shreveport Ambassador of Ansley’s Angels of North West Louisiana.
Members gathered for their quarterly business meeting. Chief Rodger Collum reported on the Butte Tribe Cultural Center Project that is now in process. Land survey and tribe pledges were discussed. He discussed his recent meeting with the Natchitoches Police Jury and the requirements that are needed to put tribe plans into action. Treasurer Brad Desadier gave the financial report. Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks spoke to the tribe about the current series of articles on the Butte Chiefs of Bayou Bourbeaux that is being published the Natchitoches Times newspaper. Members were encouraged to take time to read the articles to learn more about the history of their tribe.
New membership cards and feathers were handed out to the members who were present. Approximately 100 new members were added to the tribal rolls. Presentation of feathers is a ceremonial event of the Butte Tribe. Traditionally, both men and women wear feathers within the Butte Tribe. Feathers must be earned and the decision of who receives feathers is made by the chief.
Raven Trichell, Butte member, displayed her history presentation that will be entered in 2020 Louisiana State History Fair competition in May. The Butte Tribe presentation won the Overall Championship Honors at the regional competition in Monroe, Louisiana.
Meshal Kavalir Free, Butte member, invited special guest, Eric Kirkendall, Shreveport Ambassador of Ansley’s Angels of North West Louisiana. Free is an avid supporter and volunteer of Ansley’s Angels. Her son, Will, loves to ride with his mother guiding the wheels. Free and Kirkendall expressed their feelings of joy when at the end of marathons their riders receive metals just like those who could actually run the race. Kirkendall spoke to the tribe about his non-profit organization, Ansley’s Angels. Rides were provided for those at the meeting who wanted to experience the fun of being pushed at a running pace down the highway. Ainsley’s Angels provides exciting bike riding experiences for disabled children of all ages. Specially designed four-wheel push-bikes that enable the riders to sit safely and comfortably are pushed by volunteer runners to enable the riders to enjoy the thrill of road gliding and to feel the breeze of air brushing by their bodies.