Robert Caldwell of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb
“I want to see what problem attacks our culture, our existing culture, as well as what we've been taught from our ancestors. I want to ask questions, sometimes questions that can't be answered, and certainly can't be answered comfortably. So, in that sense, that's what I meant by sometimes I see myself as a trickster. I definitely don't see myself as an authority.” --Robert Caldwell
Dr. Robert Boyce Caldwell, Jr. (he/him) is a scholar, writer, professor, and culture bearer who is an enrolled member of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, Louisiana. He was born in Shreveport, grew up in northwestern Louisiana, and has also lived in Dallas, Bulbancha, Prague, Santa Fe, the Arkansas Ozarks, and Massachusetts. Robert graduated from the University of New Orleans, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Northwestern State University, before earning his Ph.D. in transatlantic history from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has been awarded several research grants and fellowships, including the Katrin L. Lamon Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. He has published numerous academic articles, as well as the book Choctaw-Apache Foodways (2015). He currently has a book under contract with the University of Nebraska Press. Robert is currently a visiting assistant professor of critical social inquiry at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an assistant professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles.
In his Un-Recognized Stories interview, Robert discusses cultural preservation, tribal foodways, the history of his community, and powwows.
The Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb
The Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb are a state-recognized Indigenous Nation headquartered in Ebarb, Louisiana, located in Sabine Parish. The tribe is comprised of descendants of displaced Caddo, Choctaw, Adai, Lipan Apache, and mestizo individuals who formed a community in the 18th and 19th centuries in the vicinity of the Spanish presidio of Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes. Many members of the tribe have historically worked in the timber and petroleum industries. The tribe hosts a popular annual powwow.
Caldwell, Robert. “Choctaw Frontier: Incursions and settlement in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas, 1760-1836.” North Louisiana History (Fall 2020).
Caldwell, Robert. “Persistence on the Edge: The Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb,” Native South 19:(2020).
Lee, Dayna Bowker. “From Captives to Kin: Indian Slavery and Changing Social Identities on the Louisiana Colonial Frontier” in Carocci M., Pratt S. (eds) Native American Adoption, Captivity, and Slavery in Changing Contexts (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).