"Two Chitimacha Indians", painting by François Bernard, 1870 The Chitimacha (, ; or , ),also known as Chetimachan or the Sitimacha, are a Federally recognized tribe of Native Americans who live in the U.S. state of Louisiana, mainly on their reservation in St. Mary Parish near Charenton on Bayou Teche. They are the only indigenous people in the state who still control some of their original land, where they have long occupied areas of the Atchafalaya Basin, "one of the richest inland estuaries on the continent." In 2011 they numbered about 1100 people. The people historically spoke the Chitimacha language, a language isolate. The last two native speakers died in the 1930s. But the tribe has been working since the 1990s to revitalize the language, based on notes and recordings made by linguist Morris Swadesh about 1930. They have started immersion classes for children and adults. In 2008 they partnered with Rosetta Stone in a two-year effort to develop software to support learning the language. Each tribal household was given a copy, to support use of the language at home. The Chitmacha have used revenues from gaming to promote education and cultural preservation, founding a tribal museum, historic preservation office, and restoration of their language. The Chitimacha are one of four federally recognized tribes in the state. In addition, Louisiana recognizes several other tribes who do not have federal recognition. In the late 20th century, Louisiana had the "third-largest Native American population in the eastern United States."
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