United Houma Nation
Louise Billiot is a registered member of the United Houma Nation. She was raised in the bayou Native American community of Dulac, Louisiana. She currently resides in city of Houma, Louisiana which was named after the tribe.
Her education began at a small bayou community school designated for tribal members. Prior to 1962 tribal citizens of the United Houma Nation were not allowed to graduate in public schools in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish. Determined to get an education Louise holds a bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University.
She is currently employed with the tribe as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. She has been employed with her tribe continuously for the last 33 years and plans to retire in 2023. Her work includes assisting tribal members of the United Houma Nation and Chitimacha tribes with disabling conditions to return to or obtain employment.
She is Traditional Woman’s Cloth Dancer and traditional Houma palmetto basket weaver. She co-founded and coordinated the Bayou Eagles Native American Dance Group through her volunteer work with the Dulac Community Center of Dulac, Louisiana for over 15 years. She has conducted native presentations at numerous schools, libraries and other community events throughout Louisiana including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Louse Billiot is honored to be your chosen Elder-in-Residence at this year’s Convention.
For questions about the ACPA23 Indigenous efforts or for opportunities to engage with Elder Louise Billiot, contact ACPA23 Indigenous Advisor Tara Nelson ([email protected]).
Corine Francis Paulk
United Houma Nation
Corine Francis Paulk is an 80 year old member of the United Houma Nation. She was born and raised in Dulac, Louisiana. She attended the Dulac Indian Mission School, which was established after visiting missionaries discovered schools and education were not provided to Native Americans in the Dulac area. The Mission School did not provide an education past 8th grade and the Terrebonne Parish School Board refused to allow Native students to attend any of the public schools in the area. She attended the Indian Mission School until the age of 12 years old.
A missionary working with the Dulac Community Center spoke to Corine’s mother about Vashti Girls School in Thomasville, Georgia which was run by the Methodist Church. Her mother allowed Corine to move to Georgia to complete her education. She graduated from Vashti Girl’s School in 1961 at the age of 18 years old.
Corine returned to Dulac to care for her ailing mother and began working at the Dulac Community Center where her education had first started. This began Corine’s long history of giving back to her church and fellow Tribal members. Ironically, Corine later found employment with the Terrebonne Parish School Board’s Indian Education Program. She retired in 2004 after 30 years of working to provide better educational services for Native students.
Corine has been giving back to her community members, always going above and beyond, because of her selflessness and loving heart for her fellow Tribal members. She is a mentor, leader, historian and friend to countless community families and youth. Her devotion and inspiration continue to drive her to advocate for continued education and programs for our United Houma Nation citizens. All of the “good” she has done for all our communities along the bayous cannot be measured in words.