Bryant J. Celestine, the historical preservation officer of the Alabama-Coushatta Indians, will discuss the rich heritage and history of his tribe at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 20, at the Allen Public Library. The Alabama-Coushatta Reservation is located on U.S. Highway 190, seventeen miles east of Livingston, Texas, in Polk County, and is one of three Native American reservations in Texas.
Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.
Bryant is from the “Oofatta,” or Beaver Clan, of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
In 1998, Bryant began serving as the historical preservation clerk for the tribe and tasked to establish the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Archives by establishing policies and procedures, accessioning old and new collections, and making available numerous tribal records for research purposes. Developing the role of the Historic Preservation Office to assist in government-to-government regulatory obligations of federal agencies with federally recognized tribes, Bryant oversees regulatory obligations that include the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
Bryant is an advocate for cultural longevity and incorporates a variety of classes for tribal members to learn the art of longleaf pine needle basketry, traditional songs and dances, and language. He has also participated in several oral history projects for documentation and research purposes.
As tribal historic preservation officer, Bryant has advocated for the collection of natural resources from federal agencies for tribal members to continue the cultural legacy. Since the development of the Alabama-Coushatta’s Cultural Programs Office, he has labored to ensure that cultural longevity is a focus of classroom curricula.
Married for 17 years, Bryant and his wife Dawn have one daughter, Hailey, and two sons, Connor and Joshua.
The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. For additional information, call 214-509-4911.