We Are Still Here: The Yuchi House
The Euchee people call themselves the "People of the sun," or "Tso ya ha," in their language. The Euchee language is a "language isolate" -- it is unrelated to any other Native language in the Americas.
Based in Sapulpa, OK, Euchee Language Project (ELP) brings together its 5 remaining fluent elder speakers--all Euchee first-language speakers now in their 70s and 80s--on a daily basis to develop immersion curriculum, conduct after-school language classes for young people in the community, and to engage in master/apprentice training sessions with middle-generation speakers. Operating as a state-recognized tribe with some support from the federally recognized Maskoke/Creek Nation, the ELP struggles to maintain a predictable annual budget with nearly half of its staff serving on only a part-time basis. Current key funding needs include immersion curriculum development and support for master-apprentice participants to sustain a weekly time commitment and ensure progress toward fluency.
The Mission of the Yuchi (Euchee) Language Project is to keep alive the rich heritage of the Yuchi people by creating new young speakers of our unique language through breath-to-breath immersion methods with fluent elders and children.
"What we want, what we need in our communities, what our goal is, is to keep alive our languages so our young people will have breath-to breath knowledge of their traditions, of their ceremonies, of their medicines, of the stars," says Dr. Richard Grounds, chair Cultural Survival's program council 2005-2012.
Cultural Survival Quarterly articles:
The Yuchi House: A Storehouse of Living Treasure by Renee Grounds CSQ 35.4 (Winter 2011)
Small Talk by Richard Grounds CSQ 32.1 (Summer 2007)
Documentation or Implementation by Richard Grounds CSQ 32.1 (Summer 2007)
Saving a Language by Renee Grounds CSQ 29.1 (Spring 2005)
To hear Yuchi and learn more about the Yuchi language visit OurMotherTounges.org