Becky Thomas Meziere of the Clifton Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana

“I see a big overlap in some of the Native American communities, and that is with surnames of Indigenous People and how they moved around. Hey, I would love to see other communities get a little more involved.” 

--Becky Thomas Meziere


Becky Thomas Meziere (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Clifton Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana and also has ancestry in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is originally from Clifton, Louisiana, in Rapides Parish, and currently resides in the vicinity of Natchitoches. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Northwestern State University. Becky is a social worker and a renowned basket weaver. She is active in her tribal community in efforts at cultural revitalization, including physical culture. She has shown her pine straw basketry across the United States and internationally, and her baskets are sought after by collectors.

In her Un-Recognized Stories interview, Becky discusses family history, her cultural practice, and relationships between tribal communities.

The Clifton Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana

The Clifton Choctaw are a state-recognized Indigenous Nation headquartered in Clifton, Louisiana, a place sometimes known as Clifton Choctaw, Louisiana.  They are closely associated with the forested areas of Rapides and Natchitoches Parishes where many members have worked in the timber industry for over 125 years. Tribal members often worked for the Bentley Timber Company, following the migrations of logging projects. In the wake of movements for the federal recognition of the tribe beginning in the 1970’s, there has been extensive documentation of the tribe’s history, culture, and language use. The tribe has participated in various economic endeavors, including a commercial seedling nursery. Though the Clifton have been unsuccessful in their bid for federal recognition at present, the process has led to a resurgence of curiosity about the group. In particular, the work of scholar Brian Klopotek has led to a broader understanding of the Clifton Choctaw as a tribe whose recognition process is emblematic of tribal recognition issues in all of Louisiana’s unrecognized tribes.

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In collaboration with Ida Aronson, Jeffery Darensbourg, and Hali Dardar