Image Credit: Julie Dermansky/DeSmogBlog For decades, federal and Louisiana state officials encouraged residents to permanently relocate from the Isle de Jean Charles — the shrinking traditional homeland of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw (IDJC) Tribe — and they assured them that the Gulf Coast island would not be redeveloped if residents left.
However, changes in plans for the island , which has been threatened by over a century of oil and gas extraction, flood control development on the Mississippi River delta, and now climate change, are leaving tribal leaders increasingly “unsettled” in the years after their plans helped the state of Louisiana secure federal funding for resettlement in 2016. The result is a growing feeling among tribal leaders that new investments and proposals to turn the region into a recreational destination may continue a long history of displacement and colonization.
The latest in a string of changes on the island came on Thursday, July 15, at the Houma-Terrebonne Regional Planning Commission meeting when the Houma-based A.M. Dupont Corporation proposed a “minor subdivision” on Isle de Jean Charles . Parish approval would create seven lots out of a section of land owned by the company. Kenneth Rembert, a surveyor hired by A.M. Dupont, who spoke at the meeting, said the subdivision of land would enable the company to sell the lots to the fishing camp owners whose camps are already there, but who currently lease the land beneath them. Rembert also described the possibility of deepening the island’s bayou […]