64 Parishes

Coastal

Keepers of the Mound

Louisiana’s coast is dotted with hundreds of mounds built long ago by indigenous people and now threatened by coastal erosion.

Keepers of the Mound
Directed by Katie Mathews
2017; 17 min.

Louisiana’s coast is dotted with countless mounds built by indigenous people hundreds of years ago that are now threatened by coastal erosion. The mounds along Bayou Grand Caillou in Terrebonne Parish sit in an endangered marsh on property owned by land developers. In this film, the Chauvin family, members of the United Houma Nation, fight for access to the sacred space, attending public meetings with state officials, imploring the landowner to save the mounds, and seeking to define the meaning of home and cultural heritage amid a rapidly changing landscape. 

Director Katie Mathews directs and produces Post Coastal, a series of documentary shorts about coastal land loss in Louisiana, with New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC). Prior to her work in film, Katie worked as an anthropologist and ethnographer at global design firm IDEO, where she led qualitative research, using individual stories to inspire new systems in education and the public sector.

The WaterWays films are made possible by a grant to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities from the Walton Family Foundation to support a multi-year initiative to document the issues facing Louisiana’s coast. 

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