Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement

Located on the coast of Louisiana, Isle de Jean Charles has lost 98% of its land to coastal erosion and rising sea levels since 1955.  The shrinking island is home to the Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe.  For several years now the IDJC Tribe has been considering relocation and has made multiple attempts to secure funding to support the effort.  The Tribe worked with the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) to produce an application in response to the National Disaster Resilience Competition, and in 2016 the grant to the State of Louisiana was approved and $48 million dollars were allocted to the resettlement of the IDJC Tribe.

 
Aerial view of Isle de Jean Charles. Photo by Josh Haner for the New York Times

Aerial view of Isle de Jean Charles. Photo by Josh Haner for the New York Times

As the people leave, our culture goes with it. We are looking for a place we can be a community. That means a place we can care for each other, celebrate with each other and be together as family and friends on a daily basis.
— Boyo Billiot, Deputy Chief for the IDJC Tribe

Citizen's Institute on Rural Design Workshop

The planning board from the CIRD workshop

The planning board from the CIRD workshop

On January 27th and 28th, 2017, the Isle de Jean
Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe
(IDJC Tribe) hosted a workshop with support from
the Citizen’s Institute on Rural DesignTM (CIRD).  The workshop brought together Tribal members, a
diverse resource team, and state, federal and local
government representatives to support the Tribe
through the visioning, planning, and design process
in anticipation of resettlement at their new location. The workshop focused in particular on plans for a Tribal Center that will serve as a cultural and social hub for the resettlement.