United Houma Nation History

The United Houma Nation is composed of very proud and independent people who have close ties to the water and land of their ancestors. The unique history of our people has shaped our tribe today. The culture and way of life are a lifeline to that history.

It was not until the 1940s that Houma children could attend school, and even then a quality education was still unavailable. Indian schools or “settlement schools” as they were referred to, offered up to a 7th grade education and were staffed by uncertified instructors.

In an effort to provide education for their children, several families moved to the outskirts of New Orleans in the lower areas of Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. Here Houma students could attend school and were able to graduate. This movement led to a large urban tribal settlement that still exists. Even though equal educational pursuits were granted in 1965, few Houmas actually graduated. Many, in fear of the discrimination they experienced in public schools, chose to continue to work in traditional tribal employment as fishermen where they thrived. 

This educational segregation is still felt by the Tribe today, which accounts for the huge emphasis of education to our youth. Graduation was not achievable until the 1960s integration movement. 

Sorting through the multiple sources of information to discern which are accurate and which are false can be exhausting. Below are links and files to factually accurate articles written about the United Houma Nation verified and supported by the Tribe.