Urgent Help Neded for Indigenous Gustav Survivors

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2008gustav-four-winds

Four Directions Action Alert: Urgent Help Neded for Gustav Survivors

Friday, September 05 2008 @ 05:51 PM CDT
Contributed by: Admin
Views: 249
Breaking News Despite the rosy media reports of light damage from
Hurricane Gustav, several of southern Lousiana’s coastal Indigenous communities are
reeling from a direct hit by Hurricane Gustav’s 115mph winds and large storm surge.
Their communities lie in shambles. The communities of lower Pointe-au-Chien, home of
the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe (PACIT), and the Isle de Jean Charles (“The
Island”) Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Confederation of Muskogees (BCCM) are
still trying to assess the severe damage and what it will take to rebuild after
Gustav’s devastating winds and storm-surge flooded homes, knocked
buildings off their foundations, and decimated the primary source of income in the
early season commercial shrimp harvest. The Island is still inaccessible due to
prevailing flood waters.

Four Directions Solidarity Network
ACTION ALERT- HURRICANE GUSTAV
For Immediate Release: Friday, September 05, 2008
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY
www.eswn.org
www.eswngustav.blogspot.com

Contact: Naomi Archer 828-230-1404 or fourdirections@riseup.net

URGENT HELP NEEDED FOR HURRICANE GUSTAV SURVIVORS
Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe and Isle de Jean Charles Band of
Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Take Direct Hit From Gustav Eyewall

THE SITUATION
Despite the rosy media reports of light damage from Hurricane Gustav, several of
southern Lousiana’s coastal Indigenous communities are reeling from a direct hit by
Hurricane Gustav’s 115mph winds and large storm surge. Their communities lie in
shambles.

The communities of lower Pointe-au-Chien, home of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
(PACIT), and the Isle de Jean Charles (“The Island”) Band of the
Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Confederation of Muskogees (BCCM) are still trying to
assess the severe damage and what it will take to rebuild after Gustav’s devastating
winds and storm-surge flooded homes, knocked
buildings off their foundations, and decimated the primary source of income in the
early season commercial shrimp harvest. The Island is still inaccessible due to
prevailing flood waters. ( the most recent update from community leaders follows
this action alert)

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW
Please assist these communities in their time of need! These communities,
historically underserved and ignored, are asking for urgent donations of the
following items:

+ Clean fresh water
+ Gas powered generators
+ Nonperishable and ready-made food items
+ Fans and window unit air conditioners
+ Gas powered pressure washers
+ Cleaning supplies including bleach, scrub brushes, towels, and rubber gloves
+ Tarps
+ Building supplies which can be donated via Home Depot and Lowes Gift Cards
+ Hygiene products, diapers, wipes, and baby formula

COMMUNITIES CONTACT
Patty Ferguson – Tribal Attorney, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
480-425-2637 Ferguson@SacksTierney.com
Charles Verdin – Chairman, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
(985) 856-5336 pacit@cowscorner.com
Albert Naquin – Chief, Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha (985)
232-1286 whitebuffaloa@netscape.net
Four Directions Solidarity Network is also accepting donations of relief aid and
volunteer assistance which will be provided to the effected communities. We worked
closely with the coastal Indigenous tribes
following hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have been invited to do so now.

FOUR DIRECTIONS SOLIDARITY NETWORK CONTACT
www.eswn.org
Naomi Archer – Coordinator
828-230-1404 fourdirections@riseup.net

Four Directions Solidarity Network brings native and non-native people together to
work respectfully with Indigenous communities to solve problems and preserve culture
through times of hardship and change. In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and
Rita, Four Directions facilitated more than 75 tons of food and material aid, 26
large and small appliances; 30 classroom teaching kits to the most damaged
elementary schools, collected 4 tons of trash, organized two community-led ‘free’
stores, and
contributed over 5000+ volunteer hours in the community. We maintain a policy of
free and equal distribution of storm aid to any person in need within the affected
area regardless of race, ethnicity or tribal
affiliation. Visit our website at www.eswn.org
————-
Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community Damage Report
September 3, 2008

Second Chairman Donald Dardar and Chairman Charles “Chuckie” Verdin have traveled
through the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community documenting visible damage to each
home. The assessment is not good. Tribal leaders report that the damage to the
Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community by Hurricane Gustav is worse than the damage caused
by Rita and Katrina in 2005. Almost every house in lower Pointe-au-Chien has water
(from flooding and/or wind damage) and/or wind damage. Some houses are totally
destroyed; some homes were moved or pushed off of their blocks by the wind/rain. Our
tribal building fell off of the blocks and many resources within the building were
destroyed. Thankfully, the two houses built by the Mennonite Disaster Service after
the 2005 hurricane season withstood the storm.

It appears that the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Community, not protected by a levee,
received a huge onslaught of water and mud that rushed in and, perhaps rushed out,
causing houses to be pushed, picked up, and moved. As of today, the pumps in lower
Pointe-au-Chien were still pumping water out of the community. Tribal leaders have
been in contact with the neighboring Indian community, Isle a Jean Charles Band of
Biloxi-Chitimacha. Chief Naquin of Isle a Jean Charles has reported that the Island
is still under water because the pumps failed.

Tribal members would like to start cleaning up, but there is no water in the
Community to allow for tribal members to begin the clean up process. It is unknown
when water or power might be available. Lafourche Parish was working today to clear
the mud off of Oak Pointe Road to make the road passable. Tribal leaders expect most
tribal members to return to asses the damage to their homes by Saturday.

Further complicating the situation, Second Chairman Donald Dardar believes that the
local fishermen, who rely on the shrimping season, will not have that source of
income this season. Price’s Factor owned by tribal member, Price Billiot and other
factories in Terrebonne Parish were impacted by Gustav.

Other tribal members living in upper Pointe-aux-Chenes, Montegut, and Bourg also
received wind damage from the storm.

An initial assessment reveals that tribal members need water, generators, fans,
cleaning supplies, towels, tarps, building supplies, window units, hygiene products,
diapers, formula, and nonperishable food items. WE ALSO NEED A LEVEE!

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