Unrecognized Stories

Unrecognized Stories     

The Unrecognized Stories project documents the voices and experiences of living members of Louisiana’s non–federally recognized tribal nations. The federal government formally recognizes only four tribes in Louisiana—the Chitimacha, Coushatta, Tunica-Biloxi, and Jena Choctaw—but there are many other tribal nations in the state, including the Houma, Atakapa-Ishak, Avogel, Adai, Clifton Choctaw, Bayou Lacombe Choctaw, Isle de Jean Charles Band, Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, Pointe-au-Chien. Members of these tribes often feel a burden to prove their Indigeneity, and they do not enjoy the same access to targeted grants and institutions for cultural preservation and documentation as federally recognized tribes. Unrecognized Stories collects oral histories to be published online and in a print monograph, as well as deposited in an archive to preserve for researchers in perpetuity. The project celebrates Louisiana Indigenous identity for internal community building and as well as for outsider reading. The interviews were used for the Stories for the Making artists in Summer 2021, and premiered on our Indigenous Gulf Stream on Twitch on October 11, 2021. 

National Performance Network

Unrecognized Stories is part of the 2020 Southern Artists for Social Change cohort of the National Performance Network (NPN).  NPN’s Southern Artists for Social Change envisions a world in which people of color living, working, and organizing for community change in the South have the power, resources, and opportunities to thrive. NPN is a vibrant network of artists and organizations committed to advancing racial and cultural justice through the arts. We use the framework of a network because it better reflects our values of collaboration, self-determination, justice, and movement building.


The money and administrative support for this project came from the National Performance Network

Unrecognized Stories interviews were conceptualized by Jeffery Darensbourg and Hali Dardar, and produced by Ida Aronson, Hali Dardar, Jeffery Darensbourg, and PowerShift Network, with writing from Jeffery Darrensbourg.