I am Edward Chretien Jr. the eldest son and the third of six children born to Lilly and the late Edward Chretien Sr., both of Indian Heritage and Lake Charles, La. I have been married to Leatrice Chretien for 37 years. I am also the proud father of five children and 8 grandchildren. I have worked at Conoco Philips as a Quality Analyst for 38 years and have been an active member of the community in which I live and work. At Conoco, I have served on various committees including the Safety Committee. As a devout Catholic, I am a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Peter Claver. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and riding my trike. I played an integral role in the development of a bike club in Lake Charles, where other club members and myself not only ride, but have also held community service activities such as giving students school supplies in hopes of a successful year on their return to school. My past experience as a leader and member of various clubs has prepared me for this challenging and exciting position as Chief.
It brings me great pleasure to accept the position as Principal Chief of the Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas Atakapa-Ishak Tribe. Together, I know that we can do great things for our respective cities and states. I have been involved with the Atakapa-Ishak tribe for the past 10 years. I have worked with the late Hubert Singleton and had the honor of being a Paul Bearer at his funeral. In the past, I helped with putting on the Green Corn Festival that was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center. I also met with various Chiefs and Casino officials in putting together the Atakapa-Ishak Pow-wow in 2010. In addition, I’ve worked on several projects with former Chief Michael Amos who resigned honorably earlier this year. Now that I have told you a little about my background, I’d like to tell you about what I hope to accomplish during my reign as Chief.
I am extremely passionate about educating our children about their heritage so that they never forget their roots. It is also important that we educate our two states about our fine heritage. Last but certainly not least, as a membership, I would like for us all to reach out to past members who have disassociated themselves with the tribe due to disagreement, strife or bitterness. It is important that everyone has a voice and that opinions are encouraged and not shunned, but this must be done in a decent and orderly fashion. This tribe belongs to us all, and we should seek to walk toward positivity and away from negativity. Each of my goals, written in detail, has been listed below:
- Continuing the process of getting our tribe acknowledged by the State and Federal Government
- Restructuring the Council with mostly degreed tribal members
- Educating our children on their heritage
- Seeking scholarships and grant funding to help our children further their education
- Researching more proactive ways to communicate to our tribal members
- Reclaiming and reuniting members who are inactive due to hurt, neglect or discord.
- Retaining membership
As your Chief, I am excited to begin working on your behalf to make our tribe all that we know it can be. Let’s look for opportunities to show the State of Louisiana our true identity and educate our people on who we really are. Of course, we are mixed with African-American and other ethnicities, but it all began with our Native American Heritage, which Mr. Singleton outlined in his book “The Dummy Line.”
In closing, I’d like to leave you with a quote by Celestine Chua. “The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.” I look forward to productively serving you and taking our club to higher heights in an effort to attain the future we seek!
Principal Chief, Crying Eagle
Edward Chretien, Jr.