Indigenous Coastal Communities Need a Housing Strategy Before the Next Hurricane Season

Indigenous Coastal Communities Need a Housing Strategy Before the Next Hurricane Season

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Emily Torrey started this petition to Governor John Bel Edwards and

After Hurricane Ida made landfall in coastal Louisiana on August 29th, 2021, Indigenous communities along the Louisiana gulf coast, including the Grand Caillou Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Choctaw, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, Jean Charles Choctaw Nation (JCCN), were particularly hard hit and were largely left to respond and recover on their own. Tribal members and their allies worked to bring in food and water, and to raise attention to the needs of community members. Power outages lasted weeks, while families struggled to begin the process of recovering without access to resources. Many elderly families resorted to living in tents or in partially demolished homes. Unless temporary housing is brought in soon, many families will end up permanently displaced. With the 2022 Hurricane season fast approaching, we ask you, Governor Edwards, to ask the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to complete a pre-disaster housing recovery plan that takes into account the needs of tribal communities. This includes signing an Executive Order that would allow state-recognized tribes to be considered sovereign and have a direct relationship with GOHSEP, without parish governmental go-betweens. We also ask that the plan engage tribal leaders and tribal organizations. No one should have to be living in a tent six months after a hurricane’s landfall. 

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