Last Monolingual Chickasaw Citizen Walks On at 93
Emily Johnson Dickerson, a full blood Chickasaw who spoke only the Chickasaw language her entire life, died at her Ada, Oklahoma home on Monday, December 30, 2013. She was 93.
Dickerson was the last monolingual Chickasaw language speaker, according to Joshua Hinson, director of the Chickasaw Nation Language Department.
Hinson, who has devoted his career to revitalization of the Chickasaw language, said the loss of Dickerson was monumental. “I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the loss and what this means to the Chickasaw Nation,” he said. Dickerson was one of only an estimated 70 remaining fluent speakers of the Chickasaw language.