The Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb is located in western Sabine Parish. Our ancestors have been living in this area since before Anglo-American settlement and prior to the establishment of the railroad town of Zwolle.
Many of the tribe's members continue to live within this territory in the the municipalities of Converse, Noble, and Zwolle, and the communities of Ebarb, Blue Lake, and Grady Hill. Officially recognized by the state of Louisiana in 1978, the Tribe is the second largest of eight officially recognized American Indian communities within the state. The Tribe is currently seeking federal recognition by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Many members of the tribe live within Sabine Parish, the remainder live elsewhere in the state and in the United States. The two primary schools in which our children are enrolled (Ebarb and Zwolle) have combined tribal student population of over 700, and both schools receive some funding under Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, programs.
The tribe is comprised of descendants of mission Indians of Texas, Apache slaves who were sold at slave markets in French and Spanish colonial era Natchitoches, and Choctaw hunters who began migrating into the region during the late 1700's and early 1800's. Research into the tribe's history has verified that many of the Indian ancestors were natives of the Spanish mission and presidio of Los Adaes, adding a strong Adayes (Adai) identity to the Tribe. Oral history tells us that our Choctaw ancestors arrived in the region in search of better hunting territories. Additionally, the first Indian agent of the Louisiana Purchase territory, Dr. John Sibley, gave refuge to Choctaw in an effort to protect them from persecution by their Creek and Chickasaw neighbors by moving some Choctaw families into the area. These families were in the area prior to the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
Each spring the Tribe hosts a powwow. This event is attended by many Indian friends from across the country, representing as many as twenty or more different tribes, and is an alcohol and drug free event suited for families. The general public is invited to attend and to enjoy the music, dance, food, and arts and crafts.
Miscellaneous Historical Facts of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb
- The Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb was incorporated by the State of Louisiana in 1978
- Some of our families include: Procella (Procell), DelRio (Rivers), Sanchez (Santos), Martinez, Bermea (Malmay), Ybarbo (Ebarb), Sharnack (Ezernack), Rameris (Remedies), Leone, Padillia (Paddie), Sepeda (Sepulvado), Garcia (Garcie), Cartinez
- Our ancestors began coalescing together in this area by the late 1700s
- For many years, our people farmed and worked in the timber or oil industry
- Trips into town, which was nearby Zwolle, were made only when supplies were needed
- In the 1960s and 1970s, the states of Texas and Louisiana staked its claim on over 180,000 acres of ancestral land. This forced the people to sell their land for as little as $25 an acre
- The people were removed for Toledo Bend Reservoir to be created