Chief James ''Graywolf'' Gill Jr. wants people in the Moss Bluff area to know they have neighbors and friends who are Native American Indians. (Donna Price / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 7:18 PM
Native Americans are friends and neighbors of Southwest Louisiana people, and the Louisiana Choctaw Turtle Clan Inc. want people to get to know them, Chief James “Graywolf” Gill Jr. of Moss Bluff said.
The Turtle Clan will present its first all-nations Mid-Summer Pow Wow Saturday, July 13, at Gill-Lee VFW Post 9933 on U.S. 171 in Moss Bluff. Joining in the outdoor festivities will be Chief Nolan Gobert of the Prien Southern-Atakapa Tribe, and Chief Jed Duhon of the Eagle Tribe. Both tribes were early settlers south of Lake Charles.
“The purpose of this event is to let the people in the Moss Bluff area know that we have neighbors and friends who are Native American Indians in our community,” Gill said. “We want to show others how our ancestors lived and the role they played in the 1800s in Louisiana.”
“Everything will be under the outdoor covered pavilion,” Gill said. “We will have dancing from several tribes, and the grand entry at 10 a.m. will have all clan members present in their full Indian regalia.”
A variety of food will be available, including jambalaya, red beans and rice, cotton, candy, ice cream and other festival foods, much of it prepared by the Southern-Atakapa members.
“We hope to have a Seminole man as our drum master,” Gill said. Other communities expected to participate are the Choctaw-Houma, Atakapa-Southern Louisiana, Opelousas Atakapa and Four Winds. Boy Scout Troop 22 of Moss Bluff-Gillis will also participate.
Vendors will have Indian jewelry (necklaces, chokers, beadwork, etc.) and Indian regalia.
Chief Gill will have his wood craft work for sale.
“We welcome crafters from other tribes at no charge for space, but we will accept donations to help pay for the grounds rental,” he said.
The Turtle Clan has petitioned the Louisiana Legislature for state recognition several times, the latest in 2012. All requests have been denied.
“We have a few steps left in tracing our lineage to receive federal recognition,” Gill said.
Gill, age 81, said his mother, the late Estelle “Little Doe” Strother Gill, remember dancing for the Pacana Tribe near Elizabeth. She was full-blooded Indian, her father Choctaw and her mother Cherokee.
• Gates will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
• Admission is $2 for those over the age of 10. Younger will be admitted free.
• Plenty of chairs will be provided, but attendees can bring their own if they want.
• Parking is free.