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Leadership, Alliance-Building, and Resilience among the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, 1884-1984.

Basket Diplomacy

  • Before the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana became one of the state's top private employers-with its vast landholdings and economic enterprises- they lived well below the poverty line and lacked any clear legal status. After settling in Bayou blue in 1884, they forged friendships and alliances with their neighbors, civic leaders, legislators, and other tribes. Well into the twentieth century, the tribe had to overcome several major hurdles, including lobbying the Louisiana legislature to pass the state's first tribal recognition resolution.

    Basket Diplomacy demonstrates how the Coushatta community worked together- each generation laying a foundation for the next- and how they leveraged opportunities so that existing and newly acquired knowledge, timing, and skill worked in tandem.

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