“To us, it feels real good to receive that,” Verdin said. “It’s going to help us out, every little bit. Alumni Lawrence Verdin, Marie Billiot, and Charlie Duthu were in attendance at the United Houma Nation Administration Offices telling stories about their time at the school when Sevin arrived to present the check. More:United Houma Nation launches GoFundMe campaign to help buy former Daigleville School
The tribe has launched a GoFundMe page – gofundme.com/f/UnitedHoumaNation – to raise money to buy the building, at 8542 E. Main St. in Houma, which it hopes to turn into a museum, community center and archives. The board sold the building earlier this year but rescinded the deal after the tribe protested. Officials plan to advertise the property for sale again soon.
More:Former students share memories of Houma’s Daigleville School for Native Americans during era of racial segregation The Houma Nation plans to use the money to buy the former Daigleville School, which served Native American children in Terrebonne Parish during an era of Jim Crow segregation. After desegregation in 1969, the school fell out of use until the tribe reached a lease agreement with the parish School Board in 2015.
“With all the students now elders,” Creppel said, “their story of not being able to graduate in Terrebonne Parish until 1964 is even more important to tell.”
Houma Nation Chief August Creppel spoke with Sevin about the importance of being able to memorialize Daigleville students’ experiences. Sevin said he was motivated to donate after learning about the Houma Nation’s court case against the School Board and the tribe’s interest in preserving the building.
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