United Houma Nation: Banding together in hard times

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BAYOU DULAC, LOUISIANA– COVID-19 is troubling for everyone. Some groups are hit harder than others. This week the Navajo Nation surpassed the state of New York for having the highest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. Historically, Native Americans have been at greater risk of disease along with other minority ethnic groups.

Back in April, Louisiana ranked second per capita in COVID-19 deaths. As rates continue to improve, there are more consecutive days in New Orleans and other cities without deaths. Down in South Louisiana, the United Houma Nation Community bands together to keep each other as safe as possible as the state moves into phase one of reopening.

Chief August Creppel says, “The United Houma Nation has over 17 thousand people in over 16 different parishes.  The majority of our people are in Lafourche and Terrebone parish and a lot of our people are fisherman and they are out of work.  We need all sorts of different ways to get PPE and other supplies into the tribe to get them out to our communities… every little bit helps.”

Today, Procter and Gamble, the company behind the household products that include Bounty, Crest, and Tide made a donation to the tribe in the form of a large semi-truck full of supplies. The donation is part of an Affinity Native American Team initiative with Matthew 25 ministries.

“I think it’s just a blessing that folks have partnered with the tribe to be able to be able to give back.  There are so many of our folks that are in need, especially the elders who are unable to get out,” says Layla Locklear, a Houma tribal member.

Houma Nation tribe volunteers sorted through the mountain of goods and will distribute them to the people in the community. Chief Creppel says, “the tribal administration and counsel all came together for us to keep informing our people to stay safe.  It’s not a normal time.  It’s very hard on our people.”

In addition to the personal protective equipment donation of this week, next week the United Houma Nation will receive a food donation to be passed out as well.

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