Military sought to use Mechoopda language in WWII broadcasts
The military wanted to use the language of the Mechoopda Maidu Tribe of California during World War II, The Chico News & Review reports.

In the 1940s, the Department of Defense interviewed elder Emma Cooper about Koyoongkawi. The plan was to use the language to develop codes for WWII broadcasts.

The effort never came to fruition but Kyle McHenry, a 23-year-old tribal member, is now using the recordings to keep the language alive. He digitized the recordings and created materials to help pass on Koyoongkawi to future generations.

“Where we come from is everything,” McHenry told the paper. “The language explains different things about the land, the culture, who we are. If nobody learns now it will be gone forever,”

McHenry, a student at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas, spent two years on the project.

Get the Story:
Preserving Mechoopda tradition (The Chico News & Review 9/30)