MARKSVILLE, LA – The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana was a recent recipient of a 2023 Louisiana Culture Care Fund Grant totaling $10,000 to support its continuing efforts to serve its citizens, preserve its culture, and engage with the residents of Avoyelles Parish. Funding for this 2023 Louisiana Culture Care Fund Grant has been provided by the State of Louisiana and administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
“Grants like this from the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities add sustainability to the continuous work of our language and culture teams,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. “As we move into the future, it is our responsibility to bring those historical and cultural parts of our past with us as we grow, flourish, and prosper into the next several decades. Funds such as these are crucial to ensuring the continued preservation of our language and the building further and further upon our legacy.”
A main beneficiary of the grant, the tribe’s Language and Cultural Revitalization Program (LCRP) aims to prepare future generations of tribal citizens to lead successful, fulfilling lives and to have a deep understanding of their culture. Under the guidance of John Barbry, the LCRP’s director, the LCRP has brought the Tunica language back to life through recordings, text, language classes, workshops and summer camps over the last decade. Additionally, the Cultural & Educational Resources Center (CERC), which houses the Tunica-Biloxi Museum and the Cemonia Strother Williams Library & Research Center, will continue to provide services focusing on Native American culture and traditions.
The Tunica-Biloxi Museum is home to the “Tunica Treasure,” a vast collection of Native American European trade items and other artifacts deposited as grave goods by the Tunica from 1731 to 1764. The Tunica Treasure represents a rich cultural legacy of entrepreneurship and political influence in the eighteenth century. The museum includes a state-of-the-art conservation lab that provides preservation and restoration services specializing in material culture from the 18th century.