Fluent Speakers

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Chickasaw fluent speakers are the driving force in language preservation. Their willingness to share their priceless knowledge with younger generations is essential to the language's survival.

Chickasaw as a Primary Language

Catherine Willmond

Catherine Willmond is a Chickasaw fluent speaker, an award winning author and a teacher of the Chickasaw language. Her contributions toward the preservation of the Chickasaw Language earned her place in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. As she explains, the Chickasaw people believe the end of the world will come if the language is lost.

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Chickasaw as a First Language

Stanley Smith
Stanley Smith was raised speaking Chickasaw and did not speak English until well into his childhood when he began attending school.

JoAnn Ellis: Teacher of the Chickasaw Language

JoAnn Ellis
JoAnn Ellis remembers learning both Chickasaw and English beginning in her early youth.

Preserving the Language

Emma McLeod and Ellen Chapman
Ellen Chapman and Emma McLeod explain that teaching the native language helps to preserve Chickasaw culture and heritage for future generations.