Chief Thunderstick-Grand Marshall of Poverty Point World Heritage Festival

By: Belinda Brooks

Butte Tribe Chief Thunderstick, Rodger Collum, and his warhorse, Cochise, danced through the streets of Oak Grove, Louisiana, Saturday, April 10th, 2021.   On behalf of the Oak Grove City Council, Mayor Adam Holland invited Collum to be the Grand Marshall of the town’s first Poverty Point World Heritage parade.

Mayor Holland presented Chief Collum and Vice-Chief Brooks with City pins in appreciation for their contributions to the festivities.

Members of Butte Tribe of Bayou Bourbeaux traveled to West Carroll Parish to support the event with their chief.  The parade route was jammed packed with hundreds of sight-seers excited to see the chief in his colorful regalia riding his war-painted stud-horse, Cochise.  Collum brought with him a covered wagon in which his wife, Charla Collum, and Vice-Chief Belinda Brooks rode.  The wagon was followed by several Butte Tribe floats, decorated golf carts, and terrain vehicles.

Tribe members set up stations on the courthouse square.  While there, they taught Native American arts and crafts, tribal history,  dance, cooked Native foods, and visited with friends and family.

Butte Tribe has a long-standing history with West Carroll Parish.  Many tribal families extended Butte borders in the early 1900s to migrate to Northeast Louisiana in hopes of finding a better way of life and less discrimination of Native American culture following the Civil War and the US Indian Wars of the late 19th and early 20th century.