Grant Federal Recognition to the United Houma Nation

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Houmabanner

The United Houma Nation is a 17,000-member indigenous tribe native to southern Louisiana and the Gulf South.

Five years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill devastated the marshes, fisheries and livelihood of the United Houma Nation. But when the tribe sought damages from BP, they were denied because the tribe is not officially recognized by the U.S. government.

The United Houma Nation has been in a 30+ year struggle with the U.S. government to secure federal recognition. Federal recognition promotes self-determination of the Houma people and strengthens their fight for land sovereignty. It would allow for the Houma people to contribute to decisions around the distribution of natural resources, environmental clean-up and disaster recovery.

The United Houma Nation is severely affected by coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and the lack of corporate and government accountability around the pollution of their traditional lands and waters. A lack of federal recognition limits how the Houma people can protect the delicate marsh, swamp and bayou ecosystems to sustain their food subsistence, cultural practices and economic livelihood. 

Sign the petition to support justice and federal recognition for the United Houma Nation!

For more background, see this video:

More background on the impact of the BP oil disaster on the United Houma Nation.  

More on the history of the United Houma Nation's fight for federal recognition.

To: Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
From: [Your Name]

By signing this petition, I support the United Houma Nation’s appeal to the U.S. Government for federal recognition. Federal recognition promotes self-determination of the Houma people and strengthens their fight for land sovereignty in South Louisiana.

The 17,000 member Houma tribe is one of South Louisiana’s most valuable treasures and has been in a 30+ year struggle with the U.S. government to secure federal recognition. Native to a broad region of the Gulf South, most members now inhabit the six lower parishes of South Louisiana. A lack of federal recognition limits how the Houma people can protect the delicate marsh, swamp and bayou ecosystems to sustain their food subsistence, cultural practices and economic livelihood. In addition to being on the frontlines of extreme weather fueled by a changing climate, the coastal location of the Houma’s tribal communities puts them at the center of pipeline and drilling interests in the Gulf Coast. Federal recognition allows for the Houma people to contribute to decisions around the distribution of natural resources, environmental clean-up and disaster recovery that impacts so many of its people. Severely affected by coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and the lack of corporate and government accountability around the pollution of their traditional lands and waters, the United Houma Nation is the Gulf South’s frontline community. Justice for the Gulf South begins with justice for the United Houma Nation.

Federal recognition affirms the United Houma Nation’s significance to not just Louisiana, but to the United States as a whole. As native citizens of this country who have contributed greatly to the fabric of Louisiana, the Gulf South and the United States, I offer my signature in support of the United Houma Nation being recognized as an autonomous, sovereign nation.