Scierra LaGarde of the Bayou Lacombe Choctaw

“So you have a whole class of people that in just one generation has forgotten who they are because of the passing of the Jim Crow laws, and that's what frustrated me. That's what got me into really being passionate about learning who I really am, who my family is...what my culture is...Why do we have to say that we're Creole, that we're just Creole?” 

--Scierra LeGarde


Scierra LeGarde (she/her) grew up in Bulbancha where she still lives, and is a graduate of both Ursuline Academy and the University of New Orleans, where she earned a degree in history. Scierra is a member of the Bayou Lacombe Band of Choctaw. She is a Louisiana Creole of Choctaw and Lipan Apache ancestry.  Scierra is well known for her cultural activism and Indigenous dancing. She is involved in language reclamation as well as restoration of traditional practices such as basket making.

In her interview, Scierra discusses the history of the Choctaw of Bayou Lacombe, issues involving recognition and the aftermath of traumas of removal.  She delves into her personal cultural practices and illuminates matters of personal identity involving mixed ethnicity people in Louisiana.

Bayou Lacombe Choctaw

The Choctaw are a large and influential Indigenous People of the Gulf South, with traditional territory in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Choctaw are currently separated into several groups, including four federally recognized groups as well as several other smaller bands.

The Choctaw of Bayou Lacombe and environs have roots on the Northshore region of Lake Okwatta, also known as Lake Pontchartrain. They may be related to the Acolapissa Tribe recorded in that area, another group that was linguistically and culturally similar. The Choctaw on the Northshore have suffered massacres, cultural loss, and two removals of members, some of whom became part of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The tribe and its cultural practices were extensively documented by David Bushnell of the Bureau of American Ethnology in the early 20th Century.  In spite of this documentation, the Choctaw of Bayou Lacombe are still not recognized by the United States Government. The Bayou Lacombe Choctaw today are still active, and continue to reclaim their cultural heritage.

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


In collaboration with Benry Fauna and Hali Dardar