(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 6:11 PM
ELTON — After a five-year hiatus, the Coushatta Tribe plans to again host a free summer day camp to allow the public to explore the traditions, customs and history of the tribe.
The camp will run 9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Wednesdays, weather permitting, from June 11 to July 24 on the tribe’s reservation, just off Powell Road, three miles north of Elton. The camp will be closed June 18-19.
“It’s a chance to see what the Coushatta Tribe and Native Americans are about and a chance for us to share our history,” Camp Director Rayne Langley said.
This will be the 14th year the tribe has opened its reservation to the public for the single-day camps.
“We had a lot of requests from the kids who wanted us to bring it back because they missed it,” Langley said. “Some of them never had a chance to work it and wanted to experience Camp Coushatta like their older brothers and sisters.”
The public is also eager for the camp to return, Tribal Education Administrative Assistant Lisa Trahan said.
“We had so many calls the first year we didn’t hold the camp,” Trahan said. “Hopefully, those people will come visit again.”
Nearly 50 Coushatta youths, ages 10-18, will serve as camp staff. They will conduct demonstrations and presentations to give visitors an insight into the heritage of the Coushatta Tribe.
“The camp gives them a chance to make a little money and learn about the tribe, visit with family and meet new people,” Trahan said of the staff. “It’s also a chance for them to learn more about their heritage and share it with others.”
The camp also teaches the youth management skills, public speaking and responsibility, Langley said.
Activities will include fry bread cooking, basketry and drum demonstrations, and jewelry making. There will be a weapons and tools display, games and a nature walk. Visitors can also enjoy canoe rides and archery.
Each camp session ends with powwow-style dancing with tribal youth dressed in full regalia. For more information, call Langley at 584-1433.