Welcome to the NSU Creole Heritage Center!

Our mission is to promote, foster and engage in activities and endeavors that relate to Louisiana Creoles and their culture. It serves as an office of support to Louisiana and national Creole communities and organizations, offering advice and assistance in matters that affect Creoles. The Center also serves as a central clearinghouse/information bank for these communities and for those seeking knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Louisiana Creoles and their culture.

Click here for our January 2023 update of activities at the CHC!

Current Staff:

  • Dr. Kent W. Peacock, Director
  • Dr. Pete Gregory, Academic Advisor
  • Shirley Dunn-Chevalier, Genealogy Coordinator
  • Markita Hamilton-Small, CHC Clerk

Creole Heritage Center · NSU Box 5675 · Natchitoches, LA 71497 · 318.357.6685

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Our Background

The establishment of the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center was part of a five-year plan initiated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, a Natchitoches Parish based group. The society was formed over 25 years ago to promote and preserve the Creole Culture. Although its initial focus was the community of Cane River, it has broadened its range to include the entire state of Louisiana, as well as Creole Colonies located nationally.

This Center is a reality through the efforts of the society’s current president, Mr. James Billeaudeau, along with the assistance of a number of its members and various NSU personnel. The approval of the university’s governing boards was sought and obtained in the fall of 1997. Grant money that was received from the Governor’s Office of Urban Affairs and Development allowed for the support of a start-up staff whose initial mission was to assist in the achievement of permanent funding for the Center.

Since its opening October, 1998, the office has grown to one (1) full time employee, two (2) part-time employees, two (2) student workers, and many around the community who volunteer for certain events year-round.

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2023 is a year of great excitement and celebration for the CHC as this fall marks the 25th anniversary of when the CHC opened its doors on the campus of Northwestern State University.

It is strongly because of the support of individuals like you that the CHC has reached this 25-year milestone and your support is essential to continue the CHC’s initiatives and publications.

We encourage you to become a member of the CHC for this anniversary year and consider an extra donation to celebrate our silver jubilee.

If your business or organization would like to sponsor the CHC or a CHC event, please contact our main office.

To become a member and donate online:

To become a member and donate through the mail:

Creole Heritage Center

165 Sam Sibley Drive
NSU Box 5675
Natchitoches, LA 71497

All donations will be processed through the NSU Foundation & Alumni Association.

Gifts made to the NSU Foundation are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. The NSU Foundation is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its Federal Identification Number is 72-6021495.

Contact the CHC with any questions and to learn about in-kind or archival donation opportunities!

Genealogy Department

The Genealogy Department of the NSU Creole Heritage Center welcomes you and your family’s history to our world. We are in the midst of creating a national database of Creole family histories that will serve as a central clearinghouse for researchers. Our efforts include gathering data from every Creole colony within the state as well as to their links nationwide.

The Center and its Resource Unit is also involved in cataloging as much of the documentation regarding Creole family histories as we can locate. Your help is needed to accomplish this! We are asking that you submit copies of family papers and photos that would add to the catalog and help preserve your family’s legacy. Our current collections contain documents such as baptismal and marriage records, funeral cards and programs, photographs, military records, letters, census records, succession papers, etc. If you are interested in donating copies of any such documents, please contact either the Center via email, telephone at 318/357-6685 or mail to CREOLE CENTER, NSU Box 5675, Natchitoches, LA 71497.

SEARCH Ancestral Creole Family Histories

The searchable database online reflects the information we presently have on individuals born BEFORE 1921. You will have the option to search on all fields shown. You will also have the option of updating any of the information returned as a part of your search. Just hit the UPDATE button for the individual and enter the information you want to either add, correct, or change. This information is then submitted to our Genealogy Department who will be responsible for updating the database.