On Sunday, May 23, 2010, Tribal Members reported oil in Lake Chien. Tribal members have been working to protect our tribal fisheries, our tribal homelands, and our sacred sites. We are not sitting by idly, but are taking active measures to try to protect our homeland. We are concerned about the upcoming hurricane season. Because we are not federally recognized, our efforts are impeded, but the government can fix this by bestowing federal recognition on the Tribe, which would allow for more direct assistance to the tribe in clean up and assessment measures.
As of May 29, 2010--THE SHRIMPING SEASON HAS CLOSED so fishermen are now out of work. A sheen of oil was spotted below Felicity Island on May 29, 2010. (Lac Felicite and Felicity Island are named after Felicite Billiot, Alexander Billiot's sister. She was interviewed by Swanton in the early 1900s when he visited Pointe-au-Chien).
Historically, the Tribe was a hunting, fishing, agricultural, and cattle community. Today, the Tribe relies primarily on fishing due to the devestation of the land by oil companies, lack of protection of the barrier islands, and the lack of fresh water replishment which has resulted in salt water intrusion and the devestation of the land. But now, even the fishing lifestyle is threatened. The Tribe is concerned as to the future impacts, but we are doing our best to try to protect what we have left.
On June 19, the Shrimping Season reopened in the Cut-Off Canal. Shrimpers who have contracted their boat(s) with BP for oil spill prevention and clean up, however, cannot use the same boats to shirimp, crab, or fish.
As of August 17, the shrimping season has reopened in the inner bayous. Not many fishermen have returned to fishing. There has been oil spotted below Pointe-au-Chien, and there has been no testing by the EPA as to the whether there are dispersants in the water. There have also been reports of dead seagulls south of Pointe-au-Chien, some of which had no oiling.