While only five elders speak Euchee as a first language, two dozen second-language learners are working hard to become fluent speakers. At the Euchee Language Project in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, fluent elders work daily with apprentices to pass on their language. These apprentices in turn serve as teachers for a preschool language immersion daycare center, and for after-school children’s classes at the Euchee House, which provides a safe haven for bringing together Euchee families. The project also hosts annual language and culture camps, bringing together the young and the old for fun and for ceremonial occasions and dances.
The Euchee are originally from the southeastern United States. Early English and Spanish documents record encounters with the Euchee in Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. From 1821 through the 1850s, a series of government removals forced the Euchee from their homelands into Oklahoma’s Indian Territory. Despite extensive evidence of Euchee tribal history, cultural patrimony, and vivacity through the present day, the U.S. government still does not recognize the Euchee as a contemporary tribe. However, the Euchee continue to maintain their identity and choose to refer to themselves as zOyaha meaning "People of the Sun."