The Atakapa people /?'t??k?p?/ are an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, who spoke the Atakapa language and historically lived along the Gulf of Mexico. They called themselves the Ishak, pronounced "ee-SHAK", which translates as "The People" and further designated themselves within the tribe as "The Sunrise People" and "The Sunset People". Although the people were decimated by infectious disease after European contact, descendants still live in Louisiana and Texas. The peoples lived in river valleys, along lake shores, and coasts from Galveston Bay, Texas to Vermilion Bay, Louisiana.
After 1762, when Louisiana was transferred to Spain, little was written about the Atakapan. Infectious disease epidemics of the late 18th century caused many fatalities among them. Survivors joined the Caddo, Koasati, and other surrounding tribes, although some culturally distinct Atakapan people survived into the 20th century.