2021 Regional Investments
Grantee Organizations: United Houma Nation; Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
Convergence Partnership is supporting two tribal nations in Louisiana to help fill critical resource gaps in their recovery from Hurricane Ida in August 2021 – in large part a result of their unjust lack of federal recognition which exacerbates inequities and significantly diminishes their ability to qualify for federal aid after disasters. Closing this resource gap will allow these tribes to return to leading other critical work focused on land rights, cultural preservation, community resettlement, canal backfilling, and coastal and wetland restoration that benefit not just the tribes themselves but all of Louisiana’s people.
The United Houma Nation
The United Houma Nation (UHN) is a state recognized tribe of approximately 17,000 tribal members residing within a six-parish service area encompassing 4,570 square miles. The six parishes, Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, St. Mary, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes are located along the southeastern coast of Louisiana. Within this area, distinct tribal communities are situated among the interwoven bayous and canals where Houmas traditionally earned a living. Although by land and road these communities are distant, they were historically very close by water; however, boat travel is no longer a viable option due to the effects of coastal erosion. The Tribe today is presented with the unique challenges of preserving and maintaining culture and way of life in the face of climate change.
The Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
The Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw community are descendants of the early 19th century residents of Bayou Terrebonne (Billiot, LaForet, Dardar, Solet, Verdin, and Courteau) and Bayou Little Caillou. The Grand Caillou/Dulac Band tribal peoples have been living in their ancestral traditional village of Grand Caillou/Dulac along the Louisiana Gulf Coast for centuries. Their ancestors were primarily of the historical Biloxi, Chitimacha and Choctaw but also Atakapas and Acolapissa Tribes. The Indian people of the Grand Caillou/Dulac community still continue to live off the water and the land to the best of their ability today but are facing serious challenges brought by oil and gas exploration, subsidence, saltwater incursion, climate change, and the globalization of the seafood industry.
2020 Covid Response Grants
Grantee Organizations: House of Tulip and Power Coalition for Equality and Justice
With support from Convergence Partnership, House of Tulip provided zero-barrier housing to trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people in need of safe housing and advocated for housing and employment protections for TGNC community members in New Orleans. Power Coalition updated and advocated for the Roadmap to Recovery: People-Centered Policy Solutions to the Covid-19 Crisis in anticipation of a new stimulus in 2021. This policy agenda included advocating for voter protections, decarceration and bail-out efforts, meal provision through church partnerships, housing protections, and mitigating the compounding impacts of climate disasters amidst the pandemic–the kind of long-term reforms needed to build and sustain a more equitable and just society in Louisiana.
House of Tulip
House of Tulip is a community land trust that creates housing solutions for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people. They are developing community programming, short and long-term housing solutions, and pathways to homeownership for the TGNC community in New Orleans, starting with one multi-family property and a community center.
Power Coalition for Equality and Justice
Power Coalition for Equality and Justice is a coalition of community-based organizations that work together to educate and empower voters and increase civic engagement across Louisiana, with a focus on communities of color. Through voter engagement and community organizing work, Power Coalition seeks to unify collective voices into a stronger, more cohesive force that can successfully advocate for an agenda of shared values and issues.