ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES BAND OF BILOXI CHITIMACHA CHOCTAW RECEIVE NATIONAL DISASTER RESILIENCE COMPETITION AWARD FOR RESETTLEMENT

ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES – The Isle de Jean Charles (IdJC) Band of Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw and the Lowlander Center are pleased to announce the receipt of a $48 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the winners of the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) this past week, including an award to the State of Louisiana that will provide $48 million towards the resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles.

“The people of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe are situated on the front line of Louisiana's coastal land loss disaster and their ancestral home is sinking into the marsh,” Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development, said. “This $48 million grant will allow the state to help them resettle their entire community to a safer place with a minimum of disruption to livelihoods and lifestyles. Together, we’ll be creating a model for resettlement of endangered coastal communities throughout the United States.”

This Tribe's historic home in Isle de Jean Charles is facing extreme coastal land loss and will soon be unable to serve as a viable home for tribal members.  “This award will allow our Tribe to design and develop a new, culturally appropriate and resilient site for our community, safely located further inland,” according to Chief Albert Naquin.

The Lowlander Center, along with a team of nationally recognized indigenous and non-indigenous professionals are implementing the resettlement process in partnership with the Tribe. The resettlement will become a living model of community cultural resilience, disaster and climate change mitigation, green building practices, environmental stewardship, and sustainable economic development.

The IdJC community will function as a resource to neighboring communities and residents, as well as to other communities nationally and even internationally that are facing similar challenges.  The Resettlement will include a health clinic that will serve the surrounding area, as well as a food market and outlet for indigenously-produced products.  IdJC is committed to serving as a teaching/learning community while their coming together in one, safe community permits them to renew and preserve their own culture.

For more information on the resettlement project, visit www.coastalresettlement.org