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Louisiana tribe losing homeland to Gulf of Mexico

The Biloxi-Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is slowly losing its homeland to the Gulf of Mexico.

Many of the tribe's members live on Isle de Jean Charles. Every year, more and more parts of the island are lost to the gulf. "This island is dying," Chief Albert Naquin tells The New York Times. "Our culture and heritage ... is just going to be history."

The federal government is planning a $887 million project to protect the gulf from erosion. But the project leaves out Isle de Jean Charles because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it would be cheaper to relocate the 250 inhabitants to the mainland.

The tribe was one of several that were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. Due to their lack of federal recognition, they didn't receive direct aid from federal agencies.

Get the Story:
In Louisiana, a Sinking Island Wars With Water and the Government (The New York Times 6/19)

Relevant Links:
Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw of Louisiana -

Related Stories:
Louisiana tribe seeks help after two hurricanes (10/28)
Louisiana tribe devastated by two storms (10/21)