Where did the name “Butte” Indians come from?

Butte Indians derived their tribal name from Butte Hill located on the Bayou Bourbeaux in Natchitoches Parish.  Protected and kept secret for over 200 years in recent history from outsiders by Butte Indian descendants, Butte Hill is actually one of the biggest indigenous mounds in mid-Northwestern Louisiana.  The last Butte Indian ancestors buried on Butte Hill were “White Smoke”, the first Chief of the Butte Indians of Bayou Bourbeaux, and “Two Moons,” parents of the first ancestor to hold the Desadier name, Joseph 1798 Pereda Desadier (b. 1798- d. 1868.)

White Smoke (1st Chief of the Butte Indians of Bayou Bourbeaux) and Two Moons were the last line of our Native American ancestors to be buried on Butte Hill. White Smoke was buried standing up with his hands crossed holding his sacred pipe. Both graves are marked with two large stones that remain there today. Their son, Joseph Pereda Desadier (1798-1868) was the first ancestor to carry the Desadier name.
Chief Rodger Collum kneeling at the graves of his ancestors White Smoke and Two Moons at their burial site on Butte Hill in Natchitoches Parish.

Butte Hill, itself, has been in existence longer than man can recount.  From surrounding mounds in this area, local archeologists date artifacts as far back as five to ten thousand years old, as well as those that reveal French and Spanish influences that were handed down to the indigenous population of the area, our ancestors, dating back to the 17th century.  The Butte Indian community includes but is not limited to the communities of: Trichell, Pace, Bayou Bourbeaux, Prairie Lake, Clear Lake, Ashland, Black Lake, Creston, Goldonna, Campti, Clarence, Saline, Quitman, Coushatta and other small communities throughout North & Central Louisiana , west to the Mississippi River delta lands. 

Recent evidence leads the Butte Council to believe that the center of indigenous activity in this area began on Bayou Bourbeaux at Butte Hill.  Numerous mounds, too many to count, are scattered throughout the area.  An ancient map that dates back to the 1850s reveals the location of many of these mounds which includes mounds where several artifacts have been recovered from the eroding earth surrounding the mounds.  No telling how many vessels/artifacts have been lost in local waterways to recent rains and flash flood waters.

Recent flooding shows area mounds eroding in the waterways of Bayou Bourbeaux in Natchitoches Parish.