Reconnecting the Present to the Past:
The Caddo People Return to the
Lower Red River Valley

Connecting the Present to the Past and the Caddo Oral History Project

In August 2004, the Caddo Nation Cultural Preservation Office received grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area in Natchitoches, Louisiana, to record tribal memories of the lower Red River valley and to accompany the Caddo Repatriation Committee to examine sites and collections associated with the Caddo homelands. Sites in this region represent the lower settlement areas of the Caddo, and date from the 9th to the 19th centuries.

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I have for years, most of my life, heard about these places, but I never came here to see them and experience that feeling that these were our ancestors, our families, friends, and relatives. Now I have a better understanding.

—Doyle Edge

Mounds Plantation, Caddo Parish: 10 mounds of various sizes, Caddo, ca. A.D. 850-1100 [map by Jeffrey Girard]

Gahagan, Red River Parish: 2-3 mounds around a central plaza, Caddo, ca. A.D. 950-1250

I could visulaize the communitiy, the clans—people working, doing their jobs.

—Lucy Wabaunasee

Fish Hatchery Site, Natchitoches Parish: Natchitoches Caddo Village encountered by Europeans in 1690, extended along both sides of Red/Cane River for 10 miles.

Fort Saint Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish: Village of the White Chief of the Natchitoches, acquired by the French for their first Louisiana settlement.

Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes, Natchitoches Parish: Spanish presidio and capital site, established in 1721 near the Adai Indians.

Grand Ecore, Natchitoches Parish: a large bluff overlooking Red River, rich in natural resources, became a multi-cultural interaction area.

I want to come back…to let them know we're in contact with them.

—Lyman Kionute

Drake's Salt Works, Winn Parish: important salt source that drew the Natchitoches Caddo into the area by the 17th century.

Isle Brevelle, Natchitoches Parish: the southern extent of the Caddo area on Red River, home to the Cane River Creole community with genealogical ties to Caddo Nation.

Bowie County Levee Realignment Project->




Bowie County Levee Realignment Project->

Region 2