Opelousas Prairie Band of Attakapas visit Franklin

A desire to preserve their shared tribal identity, to pass their traditions on to future generations, and to gain official recognition by state and federal governments are the goals of the members of the Attakapas Opelousas Prairie Band of the Attakapas Tribe.
This was the message delivered by four tribal leaders at Thursday’s meeting of Attakapas Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
Dressed in traditional regalia, Chief Nolan Gobert, treasurer Theresa Gobert, Public Relations chairperson Amy Cormier, and Deputy Chief Minerva Broussard Francois educated and entertained the group with stories of the past and hopes for the future. The Attakapas Tribe once had a post in the area of Franklin.
The Attakapas Tribe has a language that is preserved in recordings in the Smithsonian. It is their hope that the language will be taught to young members. There are some basket weavers and jewelry makers among the members. Another goal is to acquire property and to have an official tribal headquarters. The Attakapas once hunted and fished vast land areas in South Louisiana.
Chief Nolan Gobert’s tribal name is Istaqa (Coyote Man). Deputy Chief Minerva Broussard Francois’ tribal name is Hurit Sihu, which means Beautiful Flower. Theresa Semien Gobert’s tribal name is Ohanzee Wachiwi, Shadow Dancer.
Amy Gobert Cormier’s name is Kimi Kuwanyauma, meaning Butterfly Showing Beautiful Wings.
More information about the tribe can be found online at:
There is a cookbook and also the Attakapa Ancestor Honoring Book.
Hostess and DAR Regent Gladys Fournet, assisted by Chapter members, prepared a meal of traditional Attakapas Creole dishes from a cookbook written by Theresa Gobert. The treats included venison, spinach salad, turnips, cornbread, jambalaya, corn and sweet potato pie.
(Submitted by Lana Downing)

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