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Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

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Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
Tribal flag
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Louisiana)
English, Koasati
Traditional tribal religion, Protestant Christianity[2]
Related ethnic groups
Other Koasati people
Location of the Coushatta Tribe in Louisiana

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Coushatta: Kowassaatiha) is one of three federally recognized tribes of Koasati people. They are located in Allen and Jefferson Davis Parishes, Louisiana. The tribe hosts an annual pow wow during the second weekend in June.[3]


The Coushatta Indian Reservation is located on 154-acres in Allen Parish, Louisiana. Approximately 400 people lived on the reservation in the 1990s.[2] The reservation has a tribal police department, fire department, and court house. There is also a tribal medical facility, fitness center, and event center.


The Koasati language is part of the Apalachee-Alabama-Koasati branch of the Muskogean languages. An estimated 200 people spoke the language in 2000, most of whom lived in Louisiana.[4] Historically, the language was spoken exclusively among tribal members and was never written down.[5]

In 2007, along with McNeese State University, the tribe received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for documenting endangered language (DEL); this provided necessary resources to document and preserve the Koasati language.[6]


The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana is headquartered in Elton, Louisiana. The tribe is a sovereign nation and is governed by a democratically elected five-member council. The current administration is as follows:

  • Chairman: Jonathan Cernek
  • Vice–Chair: Crystal Williams
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Kristian Poncho
  • Council Member: Kevin Sickey
  • Council Member: Loretta Williams.[7]

F. A. Little, Jr. (Louisiana Coushatta, 1936–2024), a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, served as chief judge for the tribe for nine years.[8]

Economic development[edit]

The tribe owns and operates the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana. The casino is home to the Koasati Pines golf course. The casino operates 8 restaurants and 4 hotels, and is the largest casino in the state. The casino employs over 2500 local residents, and it is one of the top five largest private employer in Southwest Louisiana.[9][2][10]

Notable tribal members[edit]


  1. ^ "Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana." Archived 24 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Pritzker 364
  3. ^ Coushatta Powwow.. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Koasati." Ethnologue. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  5. ^ ""The Koasati Indians of Southwest Louisiana."".
  6. ^ "Koasati Language Project". koasatiheritage.org. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Tribal Government: Tribal Council and Services".
  8. ^ "F. A. Little, Jr. (Ret.)". Federal Arbitration. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  9. ^ ""Major employers of Southwest Louisiana."" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Coushatta Casino Resort." 500 Nations. Retrieved 27 May 2013.


  • McCrocklin, Claude (1990). "The Red River Coushatta Indian Villages of Northwest Louisiana, 1790-1835". Louisiana Archaeology (12).
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1

External links[edit]