- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - A small Louisiana Indian tribe says money offered to settle its lawsuit against BP PLC and others for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is not enough to clean up and monitor tribal lands. So the 680-member Pointe-au-Chien (point-oh-shyenh) tribe is continuing with its lawsuit against BP, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Energy Services.

The tribe was offered less than $75,000, too little to cover its costs so far, attorney Joel Waltzer told The Courier (https://bit.ly/1Zs2JRF ).

The tribe is also accusing BP of failing to produce reports on confidential cultural information and historic sites that tribe members shared with the company. The suit alleges that such anthropological and archaeological reports would have helped the tribe’s push for federal recognition.

The tribe is recognized by the state. The tribe filed for an aboriginal land title claim in 1995, and for federal recognition in 1996.

“The spilled oil directly impacted vast portions of the Gulf of Mexico coastline, including (the tribe’s) aboriginal lands,” tribal chiefs Charles Verdin and Donald Dardar alleged in the lawsuit. “These are lands historically occupied by tribal members and ancestors, and include tribal cemeteries, sacred sites, Indian mounds, archaeological sites, village sites, shell middens and traditional fisheries.”

The tribe has traditionally inhabited the southern part of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien, including the northern reaches of Timbalier and Terrebonnes bays, Lake Chien and Lake Raccourci, court records show.

More than six square miles of coastal land, shorelines and water bottoms were directly damaged by oiling and other contaminants, the suit says. The tribe claims this territory remains vulnerable to residual levels of oil and chemicals in the water.



Pointe-au-Chien tribal website: https://pactribe.tripod.com/index.html


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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