Preservation

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By speaking and sharing the language, Chickasaw people are ensuring its survival for many years to come. Here, discover how Chickasaw linguists and elders are working to preserve their ancestral tongue.

Sharing Our Language Connects Us

Lisa Billy

Chickasaw speaker Lisa Billy observes that when visitors at the Cultural Center see Chickasaw words around campus – such the Aaimpa’ Café (“a place to eat”) – it prompts other phrases (“Sit down, come and eat with us.”). She sees that it naturally leads people to say, "Teach me." Lisa also reflects on how valuable the Chickasaw language is and how miraculous it is to see it having passed through so many generations. Today it’s something to be proud of and grateful for.

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3 Videos

Hearing Elders Speaking Chickasaw

Lisa Billy
Lisa Billy recalls growing up, hearing a large group of elders speaking and praying in Chickasaw, and how it ignited her desire to learn it.

Using the Language to Engage Audiences

Lisa Billy
Teaching a class, Lisa has used her ability to speak Chickasaw to regain students' attention.

Language Is Culture

Joshua Hinson
Joshua Hinson describes the differences in English and Chickasaw pronunciations of native words & how certain words don't translate between the two.