The Yuchi Language Project is a model program for language and cultural revitalization. This 501(c)3 non-profit is designed as a living language habitat to produce a new generation of Yuchi speakers. When we speak our own language, we embody our Indigenous culture and worldview like our ancestors.
Linguists identify Yuchi as a language isolate, unrelated to any other language. This means it is one of the world’s most ancient and richest languages, carrying eons of tradition, history and a unique perspective on the world.
Using the most effective immersion methods, the Yuchi Language Project (YLP) is seeing children once again speak Yuchi at home, school, church, and at our Yuchi Ceremonial Grounds for the first time in nearly a century.
The program earned the Oklahoma Humanities Award for Education in 2013. The Yuchi language work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine (2012), Cultural Survival Quarterly (2011, 2019), Keep Talking film (2018), Language Healers film (2013), and Language Revitalization for Families, edited by Leanne Hinton (2013).
Based in Oklahoma, YLP has partnerships with over 12 local and regional organizations including the Tribal Languages Center at Bacone College. YLP provides training for and collaborates with other Native American language programs in Oklahoma, Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, and Norway. Halay Turning Heart, our Project Administrator is the 2021 NDN Changemaker Fellow representing the Great Plains region, USA.
On the international level, we have hosted Indigenous visitors from around the globe sponsored by the U.S. State Department through a partnership with Tulsa Global Alliance, earning the award for “Outstanding At Large Host” in 2016. Executive Director Richard A. Grounds, Ph.D., is Chair of the Global Indigenous Languages Caucus and head organizer for the 2019 United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages.
yUdjEhanAnô sô KAnAnô
We, the Yuchi People, are still here.