Down the Bayou: Notes on Cultural Adaptation in the Native American Community of Pointe-au-Chien, Louisiana

By Gisèle D. Thériault



For generations, the Pointe-au-Chien Indian tribe (PACIT) has inhabited a marshy region of lower Terrebonne Parish, making their livelihoods from the land and local waterways. During the French and Spanish colonial eras, European settlers pushed Native American groups towards Louisiana's coastline, where they had to learn to live in an unfamiliar and precarious environment. "In some respects," cultural geographer Fred Kniffen wrote, these coastal marshes—with their low-lying terrain, sharp marsh grasses, mosquitoes and other insects, and tropical storms—are "hostile to man" (Kniffen 1989: 20). But the coast also supports "vast food supplies" of clams, oysters, fish, and crabs that coastal Indians have fed on for centuries (Kniffen 1989: 20).

Like other Native Americans in Louisiana, the Pointe-au-Chien people have faced many difficult challenges over the years, as they have adapted to an ever-changing world and environment. Hurricanes, for example, have always been a fact of coastal life. Now, in the 21st century, residents must also adjust to anthropogenic damage to the coastal ecosystem they depend on. Years of environmental damage, caused in part by oil company canals cutting through the wetlands, have made the area more vulnerable to hurricane-related flooding, salt water intrusion, and land erosion. All of these forces have dramatically decreased the area's land mass, as the people of Pointe-au-Chien know well; they remember that less than half a century ago, the local landscape was very different.1 Now, living so close to the water's edge puts them at a high risk for flood damage. PACIT members are dealing with land loss that they can witness happening before their eyes. Their environment has been altered within the span of a generation. In response, cultural traditions associated with their heritage also have changed.

My interest in the Pointe-au-Chien tribe began at the American Folklore Society meeting in New Orleans on October 27, 2012, when I attended an eye-opening panel discussion titled "Oil and Water: Louisiana's Endangered Coastal Native American Communities," which detailed the hardships these communities face.2 The panel featured two Pointe-au-Chien members, Theresa Dardar and Patty Ferguson, who spoke about their home "down the bayou," effects of recent hurricanes and the BP oil spill on their community, and legal aspects of the group's struggle for federal recognition as a tribe. The community and its struggles were particularly interesting to me because my dissertation research focuses on coastal communities in Nova Scotia, especially fishing communities.

Later that month, I made a fieldwork visit to Pointe-au-Chien, followed by a second visit in April of 2013. During these visits, I spoke with various members of the Dardar family, including Donald Dardar, his wife Theresa Dardar, and his mother Nazia Dardar. The Dardars also gave me walking tours of their property, allowing me to experience their environment, which is swiftly changing from a landscape to a waterscape. They live nearly encircled by waterways that are both their source of sustenance and potentially destructive forces. Homes are sandwiched between two bodies of water, a natural bayou that has existed for centuries, and a lake recently formed due to various ecological changes.

Because I had only a short time to spend with community members in their home environment, I tried to absorb as much as possible during my visits there. These research trips yielded valuable recorded oral histories, part of my initial objective. I originally had a set of topics in mind when I visited them, but I let them speak freely for the most part. Our conversations often took place in French, as the community members I interviewed were bilingual and I am a French-speaking native of Nova Scotia.

Figure 1: The Pointe-au-Chien welcome sign. Photo: Gisèle D. Thériault.

My research, limited by the element of time, is still at an early stage. A fuller understanding of the tribe's connections to fishing and to their land will require more time spent interviewing a variety of local residents. Nonetheless, I want to share some preliminary findings here. I initially expected to hear fishing stories, but instead people told me tales about their way of life today, and how they are adapting to natural and manmade environmental changes. My research project became a narrative study of how recent habitat changes have altered, and continue to modify, their traditional culture. Below, I offer an introduction to the Pointe-au-Chien people, followed by a brief discussion of several categories of stories, including narratives about hurricanes, loss of land from saltwater intrusion and erosion, and the BP oil spill and its uncertainties.

The Pointe-au-Chien Community

Members of the Pointe-au-Chien Indians live along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien in Terrebonne Parish, near the border of Lafourche Parish, on Louisiana's southern coast. Driving down the bayou, I noticed that dwellings were perched high off the ground. As storms worsen, so does flooding.3 One adaptation strategy is lifting houses ever higher to avoid floodwaters. In many cases, building codes and insurance companies require specific minimum elevations. Donald Dardar, who has witnessed these changes, says, "Years back, the houses used to be down on two-foot blocks or whatever. Some of them were on the ground. But then hurricanes started." He built his house after Hurricane Juan in 1980, and says, "We built it up . . . . Then Hurricane Andrew come ten years after. We open[ed] the door, and it was dry. That's what I like to come home [to], instead of coming to a wet house."

Pointe-au-Chien tribal members, like other coastal Native Americans, share many cultural features with their Cajun neighbors. Tribal members not only speak French, but consider it their first language, says chairman Charles E. Verdin (email correspondence with the author).4 When I first visited the Dardar home, it was moving to realize that I, an Acadian from Nova Scotia, was standing in a room with Louisiana Native Americans whose ancestors learned French, in part, from the Cajuns—a creolization that touches close to home.

Pointe-au-Chien is primarily a Catholic community in which religion plays an important role. The blessing of the fleet, an annual ritual in coastal Louisiana fishing communities, is a direct bridge between residents' religious heritage and the local environment. At the beginning of the shrimping season, a priest blesses a procession of fishing boats, sometimes standing at the edge of the boat. Another example of community members' powerful connection to Catholicism came to my notice during my second visit, right after Easter in 2013. During a discussion of holy water, Theresa Dardar said, "That holy water, I always bless my house before a hurricane," revealing her belief that faith can protect a home from bad weather.5

However, residents also have their own distinctive points of view about religious priorities, such as church attendance versus fishing on Sundays. Donald Dardar says that his faith exists within the belief that God wants them to provide for their families over anything else: "I prefer taking Sunday off to go to church, but if the shrimps are there, well I figure God's going to give me the chance to go to church next Sunday."

Many community members are subsistence or commercial fishermen who harvest shrimp, crabs, and oysters. Typically, Pointe-au-Chien fishermen have been fishing their entire lives, as their fathers and grandfathers did before them. Evidence of fishing is widespread in the area, which is home to about 680 tribal members, according to the PACIT official website. It is common to see boats in many yards, along with crab traps and fishing nets. 6

Figure 2: Donald Dardar in the garden of his mother, Nazia Dardar. Photo: Gisèle D. Thériault.

Farming and gardening, like fishing, were traditionally part of the Pointe-au-Chien people's subsistence lifestyle, and people raised much of their own food.7 Some people still have gardens in the area, like Donald, his brothers and sister, and their mother Nazia. The latter was very proud to show me her gardens, where she plants a variety of vegetables such as beans, cucumbers, and mustard greens, and fruits such as grapes and watermelons. They also have fruit-bearing trees such as orange trees, apple trees, and fig trees. These products, grown for their own consumption, are part of their subsistence way of life; they do not need to buy what they can grow or harvest themselves.

Fertilization methods have changed over the years but still rely on recycling natural resources. When Donald and I were picking mandarins in his backyard, his brother drove by on an all-terrain vehicle, pulling behind a trailer full of leaves and other organic matter, which they use to make compost for their gardens. Nazia told us that when she was a young girl, her father would bury an entire fish in the ground to serve as fertilizer.

Like other self-sufficient communities, the Pointe-au-Chien preserve some of the food they grow and harvest, so as not to waste any. Nazia Dardar enjoys making preserves with her figs and mulberries, for example. Donald Dardar's hospitality was evident when he offered to feed me boiled and dried shrimp during my first visit. This brought us to talk about the practice of drying fish in Nova Scotia. In the past, coastal Native Americans followed a process of stripping, smoking, and drying the fish they caught, which "provided opportunities for social interaction and commerce" (Duthu 428). Although drying fish was practiced before Donald's time, his mother remembers this food preparation very well. They used to dry the fish by preparing, salting, and then letting it out to dry in the sun. Once dry, Nazia Dardar said, they would cook it before eating it. (We also cook dried fish at home on Nova Scotia, but we also eat it in its dried form, similar to eating dried shrimp in Louisiana as a snack.) In response to my questions about the loss of the PACIT tradition of drying fish, Donald Dardar answered humorously, "They don't do that no more. We got freezers."

Coastal communities such as the Pointe-au-Chien community often share similar traditions and practices, such as sharing their catch with the people they know. As Donald and I stood near the boats, a man drove by, rolled down his window, and asked for crabs. Donald had none at the time, but this was yet another example of the communal aspect of Pointe-au-Chien, the act of sharing the food they harvest. This highlights the importance of reciprocity within the group, and the significance of kinship networks. By sharing the resources they grow and seafood they catch with relatives and neighbors, they keep their food costs down, too.

Stories of Hurricanes and Land Loss

Coastal Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes. (Significantly, when Theresa Dardar, Donald's wife, decided to decorate a new dress with garfish gills, she chose to also adorn it with an embroidered symbol of a hurricane.) Pointe-au-Chien's location leaves its people quite vulnerable, because the area no longer has the protection of surrounding land mass. The hurricanes come and go, but the residents must deal with the aftermath long afterwards.

Figure 3: The "backyard," with water where there used to be land. Photo: Gisèle D. Thériault.

Not surprisingly, hurricanes and land loss were common themes in the stories I heard in Pointe-au-Chien. Local fishermen see coastal erosion and land loss in the course of their everyday work. Most days, Donald Dardar is on the water in his big boat catching shrimp, or in his smaller boat fishing trout. His brother also fishes and sets out crab traps. Their father fished in many of the same areas as his sons do today, but as Donald comments, "They had a lot more land when he was fishing. Everything's all washed out almost now." Much of the area where Donald and his brother now fish was once in their back yard. He said, "Well when I was small, I used to get scared in the backyard, scared to get lost. There was so many trees."

Figure 4: Donald Dardar in his boat. Photo: Gisèle D. Thériault.

Now, many of the islands he remembers from his early years of fishing are gone. Land loss is so constant that GPS data cannot keep up, and his screen still shows land masses now swallowed by water. Donald jokes, "Now, according to my GPS, I'm fishing on a bank, a lot of the time." Today it is "all water, yeah. It was all land before," he says. Dardar suggests that the causes are both natural and manmade: "Hurricanes, and oil companies that used to come in there and just come for the oil. They used to dig canals and that helped the erosion plenty. And just a lot of hurricanes." Despite the changing environs, he loves fishing: "Oh yeah. I love it. I don't want to do nothing else. . . . I know I can do it well. And I probably could do different, other stuff. But it's just. . . . This is what I want to do."

Flooding and hurricanes damage not only homes and fishing grounds, but gardens that supply much of residents' food. The land that once served as gardening grounds is being washed away. Residents still use their shrinking land to its full potential to provide nourishing meals, but all it takes is a hurricane passing through to devastate a freshly planted garden. Theresa Dardar explained: "Oh yeah! But one year you had some stuff planted and the hurricane killed everything." High winds can also destroy the fruits of a tree. Nazia Dardar told me about the loss of bananas in her garden, for example: "Y en avait mais l'ouragan les a tué, l'a battu. Y avait des bananes là-dedans autrement. Mais il a tout abattu nos bananes. Ça c'était du vent!" ["There were some (bananas) but the hurricane killed them. There were bananas in there previously. But it destroyed all our bananas. That was some wind!"]

Not all hurricane stories are sad, however. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Mr. Dardar rescued a baby squirrel from Hurricane Isaac in late August 2012. He named it Isaac, naturally, and fed her milk until she was big enough to eat pecans and acorns.

BP oil spill

Natural occurrences such as hurricanes have continuously damaged this delicate coastal environment, particularly as anthropogenic factors such as canals have heightened their effects. Accidents such as oil spills can be just as devastating to coastal marshes, fisheries, and residents' lives. As researchers pointed out in 2012, "Salt marshes ecosystems are highly productive and biologically rich environments that are sensitive to anthropogenic contamination such as oil spills" (Beazley et al. 2012: 8).

The local effects of oil spills, especially the 2010 BP oil disaster, are another frequent topic of Pointe-au-Chien narratives. In April 2010, people all across the continent were glued to their television screens, watching the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico explode in flames. The explosion killed eleven rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico before the leak could be capped. Louisiana residents watched anxiously as oil approached coastal marshes. Contamination from the oil was a concern, but so were possible effects of Corexit, an oil dispersant used in massive quantities.

Three years later, most people and media sources outside of Louisiana no longer talk about the oil spill; it is an old news story. But the people of Pointe-au-Chien, who worry that the spill's effects have just begun to show up, have certainly not forgotten. Since the disaster, fish harvests have declined in Pointe-au-Chien. Donald Dardar, who has been fishing for forty years now, said of the recent shrimp season, "It wasn't too good of a season." He explained that this is the first time that he's seen "mixed shrimp" (meaning that the shrimp are not as big as they usually are) in 2012. Although he does not explicitly blame the BP company for this, our conversations revealed that he firmly believes that the spill has damaged his catch. He said, "[M]y thinking is [that] it's because of that BP oil spill, but I don't know just what it is." He had seen some oil "seven, eight miles from here. Some was closer than that." He says the oil spill may be the cause of damage to his oyster bed as well. The oysters are not producing "spat" or baby oysters, which he has never seen happen before. He said, "I checked my oyster beds and I ain't got no baby on them so. . . . Look like [the spill] affected them."

Although he hasn't fished crabs since the oil spill, Donald Dardar says that crab fishermen are "catching less crabs" than usual. He suspects that this decrease in the crab population may be the result of crabs' inability to lay their eggs on the contaminated coastline, or that baby crabs were unable to survive. He told me, "I think [the oil spill] has some effect on it. Crabs usually go to the beach, to spawn. And whenever it was time to spawn in August, the beach was full of oil." The crabs, he suggests, "probably went [to the contaminated beach] but probably died. That's my thinking anyway."

Moreover, Donald mentioned that he rarely eats the seafood he catches anymore, because he's afraid of what the oil and dispersant have done to the food supply. This is a significant change to Pointe-au-Chien residents' traditional way of life.8 When Donald offered me fresh shrimp during my visit, he jokingly added, "Don't eat too many in case they're bad [contaminated]! . . . The stuff that they got in them, they don't know if it's safe for you or not." The dried shrimp, he assured me, were safe: "They're from before the BP oil spill. So you can eat a bunch of them." Beneath his humorous deliverance was a poignant truth, one of fear and uncertainty about the safety of local seafood. He went on to say that he also hardly eats oysters anymore, even though he used to consume them often.

Recent traumas to the ecosystem have made local residents wary of eating the very things on which they used to subsist. Donald expressed concern over the chemical dispersant used post-spill more than over the oil itself. He may have every right to worry, as some scientists suggest that "in highly sensitive environments, such as salt marshes and estuaries that support a naturally occurring hydrocarbon-degrading microbial population, natural attenuation may be a preferable means of remediation to other mechanical strategies that can cause irreparable damage to the habitat" (Beazley et al. 2012: 12).

During my second visit, Theresa Dardar also expressed concerns over the food supply. Before the oil spill, they would have community crab boils. The spill ruined that tradition. Asked (in French) if she eats many crabs, she answered, "Depuis le oil spill on a mange pu autant" [Since the oil spill we don't eat as much of them].

Gisèle Thériault: Non? C'es-tu dangereux à manger? On sait point quoi que . . .
TD: Non, mais y dit y sont bons mais . . .
GT: Non, mais that's what they say là.
TD: Yeah . . . Y me demandait voir si moi je mangeais plein de crabes mais . . . depuis que l'oil spill . . . avant ça, avant l'oil spill, tous les aprè s-midis et là on mangeait sur le bord du bayou. C'était comme pour le community tu connais. N'importe qui, qui voulait venir, pour manger, pouvait s'arrêter manger des crabes avec nous autres sur le bord du bayou, et depuis l'oil spill a enlever tout ça . . . Ça nous a massacré.
[GT: No? Is it dangerous to eat? You don't know if . . .
TD: No. They say it's good but . . .
GT: No, but that's just what they say.
TD: Yeah. . . . They were asking me if I eat a lot of crabs, since the oil spill . . . before that, before the oil spill, every afternoon we would eat by the bayou. It was for the community, you know? Anyone that wanted to come eat could come eat crabs with us by the bayou, and since the oil spill, that's been taken away from us. It has destroyed us.]

Pointe-au-Chien people now feel that they must be careful about what they eat, which makes me wonder if their apprehension will alter their traditional culture, and to what extent.


A related topic of concern is the Pointe-au-Chien Indians' efforts to gain federal recognition as a tribe. Federal recognition is important because it can bestow certain protections and benefits on legally recognized tribes. Although subject to a legally superior federal authority which yields limited tribal sovereignty, federally recognized Indian tribes can nonetheless exert considerable influence over tribal lands. Tribes have authority to determine tribal membership, to impose taxes on the activities of members and non-members on reservations, to resolve civil disputes arising on the reservation, and to regulate land use to promote tribal health and safety. Acknowledged tribes also enjoy certain legal protections (Duthu 1997: 412-414).

It may be clear to most people that the Pointe-au-Chien are indeed an Indian tribe, but the federal government does not think so. As Bruce Duthu of the United Houma Nation writes, "legal notions of 'tribe' are often distinct from ethnological interpretations of that term" (Duthu 1997: 418). The federal government's criteria for establishing eligibility, according to Duthu:

. . . essentially require proof that an extant Indian group has been identified by external sources as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900, that the group descended from an historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity, and that the tribe persisted throughout history as a distinct community while maintaining demonstrable political influence or authority over tribal members throughout historical times. (1997: 415-417).

This is practically impossible for Louisiana's coastal tribes to prove. For the Pointe-au-Chien, the need for protection is dire. The many destructive elements impacting the area have made it difficult for them to keep afloat, both figuratively and literally. Their environment is threatened, and their interdependence with that environment makes federal recognition that much more vital. Recognition could mean more aid after natural disasters, access to a better education for the kids, and overall, a more comfortable, protected life.

Patty Ferguson is a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Tribe and an attorney who has been working with the tribe on its application for federal recognition. She led a discussion on this matter during the American Folklore Society panel and pointed out the absurdity of the federal government's demands for a Native American tribe to prove just how Indian they are today. Unrealistic deadlines for submitting proposals also make the application task nearly impossible.

Bruce Duthu advances the idea that "Tribal oral histories and traditions often fill the void in the documentary records. The question then is whether oral history and tradition, standing alone, constitutes acceptable proof of the group's continued tribal existence throughout historic times" (1997: 419).

Even without federal tribal recognition, some Pointe-au-Chien residents hope that a proposed construction project will offer them some protection. The "Morganza to the Gulf Levee" project would build a 98-mile-long, $10.3 billion hurricane levee system to protect the city of Houma and surrounding coastal communities from storm surges. Donald Dardar comments, "Otherwise in twenty years, we'll have a lot less land than we got right now. The way it's going, you know?" Although he is fairly optimistic about the project's success, there are some potential problems with the proposal. For one thing, the levee would include only a 2.7-mile section of Pointe-au-Chien and would not include sacred sites such as burial grounds or highlands further down the bayou. And its anticipated completion date is years away—years in which more hurricanes will almost certainly occur (Ferguson and Patterson 2006).

The Future

There is no sure way to predict Pointe-au-Chien's future. Will community members be properly compensated by BP for their losses? Will the Morganza to the Gulf levee system help protect them? Will they eventually be federally recognized as a tribe? Nobody really knows.

Nevertheless, even with all of these issues at hand, and numerous threats of hurricane damage and flooding year after year, Donald Dardar would not want to live elsewhere. He says, "I like it here, yeah. I don't think I would want to live no where's else. Anywhere's you go, seems like you got something happening. . . . I'd rather be here."

In general, community members tend to stay close to the Pointe-au-Chien area. Even when they move away, they don't go too far astray. According to Donald Dardar, younger community members are leaving the area and "moving up" to higher ground. He says, "I'm afraid pretty soon it's going to be all some of old guys down here. They are not moving far, just further away from the water. From hurricanes, you know. That's why I think they're moving. . . . You can't really blame them." They remain interested in their heritage, he says, and "When the shrimp are giving, they want to come right back down to shrimp. Even though they got jobs, they want to come back to shrimp." Donald comments that young people cannot stay away because shrimping is "in their blood." (Lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia also express this idea of having fishing in their "genes.")

With every year that passes, community members lose more land and the hurricanes hit harder. Yet residents are attached to their homeland; their lives and culture are intricately woven with it, and they do not want to leave it behind. As long as they can tie up their boats in the bayou across their homes, it is probable that they will continue doing what they do best: fishing, gardening, keeping chickens (and occasional geese and cows) in the backyards, and living as a tight-knit community. They are modern, 21st-century Americans who value their traditional lifestyle of living off the land. They face an uphill battle, but hopefully they, and their community life, is stronger than the battle they face.


1. Officially, the name of the town is Pointe-aux-Chênes (Oak Point), but the people of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe refer to their community as Pointe-au-Chien (Dog Point), which is what it was once called in the past.

2. The AFS panel was organized and moderated by anthropologist Ray Brassieur, and also included Rosina Philippe representing the Atakapa-Ishak of Grand Bayou, Louisiana, and Liz Williams of the National Park Service.

3. Virtually all of Louisiana's Native American coastal communities lie outside of levee systems designed to minimize flooding from storm surges. Thus, they are particularly vulnerable to flooding from even minor hurricanes and tropical storms. As Kniffen wrote in 1987, "Today the decline in Louisiana's Indian population is matched by the deterioration and outright destruction of the state's once magnificent natural environments. Many tribes have disappeared; the rest are decimated. . . . Irreparable ecological damage can be tolerated no longer, and the Indian, like his neighbors, has begun to demand protection" (Kniffen 1987: 22).

4. Historian Carl Brasseaux writes that "The 1990 census indicated that approximately 60 percent of the Houma residing in Terrebonne Parish and almost 50 percent of the Lafourche Parish Houma over five years of age spoke Cajun French as their first language" (Brasseaux 2005: 129).

5. Editors' note: Using holy water, blessed palms, and blessed candles to protect a home from storms or other evils is a common tradition among Cajuns, Creoles, and Native Americans in Catholic, Francophone south Louisiana. Folklorist Patricia Rickels pointed out that people often use these and other "sacramentals" for magico-religious means rather than for the Church's intended or official purposes. For more, see folklorist Marcia Gaudet's essay "Cultural Catholicism in Cajun-Creole Louisiana," Louisiana Folklore Miscellany 15 (2000): 3-20.

6. According to Estrada et al. (2000), Terrebonne Parish has more fishing vessel license holders than any other Louisiana parish. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries statistics indicate "over 1,963 vessel licenses in Terrebonne Parish at the end of 2001, including both commercial and recreational vessels" (LaFleur 2005: 28).

7. "Planting was done when the spring weather was favorable, beginning normally in March as soon as the danger of frost was past" (Kniffen 1987: 192): Some tribes relied heavily on corn, while more sedentary tribes picked wild berries. Modern tribes, such as the PAC tribe, now live in established communities.

8. It is a sad irony therefore that some people from the community must make a living from the oil companies by working on the rigs.


Beazley, Melanie J., Martinez Robert J., Rajan S, Powell J, et al. 2012. Microbial Community Analysis of a Coastal Salt Marsh Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41305.

Brasseaux, Carl. 2005. French, Cajun, Creole, Houma: A Primer on Francophone Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Dardar, Donald, Theresa Dardar and Nazia Dardar. 2012-2013. Interviews by author and Louisette LeBlanc. Pointe aux-Chênes, Louisiana.

Duthu, Bruce. 1997. The Houma Indians of Louisiana: The Intersection of Law and History in the Federal Acknowledgment Process. Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 38(4): 409-436, accessed October 2, 2012,

Ferguson, Patty and Eva Patterson. 2006. The Racial Implications of Hurricane Katrina - The Native Perspective. UC Hastings School of Law Race and Property Law Journal, accessed November 21, 2012,

Gaudet, Marcia. 2000. Cultural Catholicism in Cajun-Creole Louisiana. Louisiana Folklore Miscellany 15:3-20.

Kniffen, Fred B. 1987. The Historic Indian Tribes of Louisiana: From 1542 to the Present. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

LaFleur, Elizabeth, Diane Yeates, and Angelina Aysen. 2005. Estimating the Economic Impact of the Wild Shrimp, Penaeus sp., Fishery: A Study of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Marine Fisheries Review 67(1): 28-42, accessed October 10, 2012,

Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Plan. Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, accessed October 31, 2012,

Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, accessed November 1, 2012,

Gisèle D. Thériault recently completed her PhD in Francophone Studies at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette where she focused her dissertation on fishing communities in Nova Scotia. She currently works as the Acadian Francophone Liaison for the Municipality of Halifax. This article was first published in the 2013 Louisiana Folklore Miscellany.