A Step Towards the Vaccine

Corine Paulk and Dakoda Verret spread the importance of masking up to protect our Elders.
Corine Paulk and Dakoda Verret spread the importance of masking up to protect our Elders.

Houma, LA –  As the vaccinations continue to roll out in Louisiana, the Office of Public Health has launched in every region the Bring Back Louisiana campaign to pinpoint popular areas that haven’t been vaccinated, such as Dulac, LA in Region 3. After doing further research, it was apparent that a large number of our tribal citizens who live in the area do not have access to transportation. In fact, the nearest vaccination location is around 17 miles away which makes it considerably harder for tribal citizens who do not have accessibility to scheduling or driving to get the vaccine. 

Along with lack of transportation, intergenerational trauma has contributed to the lack of trust when receiving medical treatments due to previous discrimination from the various local health facilities in the past. This specifically affects the Elders from local parishes who are most at risk when it comes to this virus.

Chief August "Cocoa" Creppel holding up his certificate for his second vaccination.
Chief August “Cocoa” Creppel holding up his certificate for his second vaccination.

“We are getting calls every other week of our Elder’s passing away from this virus,” Chief August Cocoa Creppel stated. “It’s so hard with the unknown when it comes to this virus, it’s affecting our Elder’s who hold on to so much of the stories and culture about the tribe,” he continued. “I always get anxious of the next call I will get and who it will be about.” 

In fact, it is proven that minority groups are most at risk when it comes to this virus. With the lack of tribal citizens wanting to take the vaccination, the United Houma Nation has teamed up with the Office of Public Health in their efforts to build trust among the community. After posting a survey, the tribe is working on answering any questions that tribal citizens may have. There has also been conversations about the United Houma Nation possibly hosting vaccination locations in different communities to provide tribal citizens with the vaccination in a trusted space. 

The Office of Public Health has also mentioned providing transportation to tribal citizens who feel comfortable receiving a ride to the nearest vaccination location. It is important that these initiatives are taken to protect ourselves and our communities.

Tyler Duplantis and Louise Billiot showing off their UHN pride with their masks.
Tyler Duplantis and Louise Billiot showing off their UHN pride with their masks.

Tyler Duplantis, the Community Outreach Coordinator for the United Houma Nation, has described the importance of receiving this vaccination. 

“Many of our workers and our Chief have taken the vaccine,” said Duplantis. “We hope to reach a point to be able to come together again for events and to share our culture.”

If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccination, please consider taking the survey and getting them answered. Click here