Choctaw language must be preserved, protected

Published April 17, 2023

By Chief Gary Batton


Preserving and protecting the Choctaw language for future generations is one of the most important initiatives that we, as the Choctaw Nation, can take on.

The Choctaw language has been passed down to us from our ancestors and it is our duty, as the Choctaw Nation, to pass it along to the next generation. Language defines who we are and what is important to our history, faith, family, and culture. Our ancestors deemed historical events, people, and everyday objects essential enough to create a word to express their importance.

It is up to us to carry these oral and written histories to the next generation so that our Choctaw history is never forgotten and has a place in the future of the Nation. I challenge every person who is reading this sentence to learn the Choctaw language so that we preserve our history and sovereignty as a Nation. The Choctaw Nation has identified approximately 300 people who are alive that can speak and teach Choctaw to the next generation. We are thankful these remaining Choctaw First Language speakers are willing and ready to pass this knowledge along to you.

We have an exceptional Choctaw Language Department that is available to teach the language to a new generation. We have learning tools available on our website that will enable you to learn Choctaw at your own pace on the road to becoming fluent. Ask your Choctaw elders for assistance and get energized about making our language a priority. It is up to us, as the Choctaw Nation, to preserve and protect our language – there is nothing more important than our sovereignty, history, and way of life.

Yakoke and God bless!