Brenda Dardar-Robichaux is former principal chief of the United Houma Nation, located in the bayou country of south Louisiana. She previously served as the chairwoman of the 17,000-member nation, and has served on the Tribal Council since 1992. In addition, she was the director and cultural resource specialist for the Title VII Indian Education of the Lafourche Parish School Board, until her retirement in 2008. Under her leadership of Indian education and tribal government, the UHN has enjoyed unparalleled growth, a cultural resurgence and international recognition.
Dardar-Robichaux has a reputation as being an outspoken and dauntless advocate for minority issues. She has confronted injustices against Indian people from the classroom to the state capitol. Her efforts to build the United Houma Nation Relief Fund has helped thousands of tribal citizens in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the 2010 oil spill.
She was named one of New Orleans’10 Heroes of the Storm by the Times Picayune, received the 2007 Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding Community Empowerment Award by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the 2006 United Houma Nation Leadership Award. She received the 2008 Woman of Vision Award during the Ms. Foundation for Women 20th Annual Gloria Awards. In addition, the French Government presented her a medal, making her the first Houma Medal Chief of the Nation in more than 200 years.
Dardar-Robichaux serves on the Second Harvest Board of Directors, the Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana, the Institute for Indian Development, the National Indian Education Association and initiated the development of the Louisiana Indian Education Advocacy Committee. She is a member of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Gulf Coast Ecological Health and Community Renewal Fund Advisory Group.