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Language &

Cultural Revitalization

Este-cate em Ponvkv Vcayeckv

The major and dire impetus for the establishment of Ekvn-Yefolecv is the revitalization of the Maskoke language, which is classified as “definitely endangered” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Our ancient, yet threatened language, is the gateway to traditional cultural worldview, cosmology, medicine, and ceremony. Traditional ecological knowledge, upon which our most authentic Maskoke contributions to climate solutions rely, is embedded deep within our Maskoke language. We extrapolate this knowledge through linguistic reflection, which equips us with the ethical lens and practical management tools necessary to become more effective stewards of our bioregion.

No-English zones are enforced while traditional ecological education is offered to ecovillage residents

Ekvn-Yefolecv’s leaders maintain that it is not possible to create fluent and culturally competent speakers of our endangered Indigenous language in an environment where capitalism exponentially breeds new vocabulary that the Maskoke language does not have and cannot successfully accommodate through the creation and implementation of thousands of new terms. Rather, it is unequivocally necessary to recreate the society from which the Maskoke lexicon grew and in which it functions best—a society inherently premised on maintaining balanced relations with the natural world.

Kids fighting over a stick while in the woods surrounded by sticks

Transmitting traditional women's knowledge is one of the essential components to reviving matriarchy

Ekvn-Yefolecv stewards a flock of ducks

Ekvn-Yefolecv promotes language immersion wherein our children, who have been instructed in the language since they were pre-verbal, are schooled daily with Maskoke language as the sole medium of instruction - and the use of English language is altogether prohibited. While Western academic subjects are engaged, curriculum primarily centers on traditional ecological and agricultural knowledge. Ekvn-Yefolecv partners with the Global Village School (accredited by WASC) to confer coursework completed by our students . 

Practicing Maskoke literacy

Summer language

immersion camp

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Great grandmother enjoys conversing with her great granddaughter in the Maskoke language

Women are the most significant transmitters of language. Even though we expect Maskoke speakers residing in the ecovillage to assist in raising all of our community children in the Maskoke language, the task of growing new fluent speakers is undoubtedly most efficacious through an abundance of fluent Maskoke speaking mothers raising their children exclusively in the Maskoke language.  Only when colonially introduced patriarchy is dismantled and Indigenous women are socially empowered in the community, through intentionally equipping them with language fluency and traditional teachings, will revitalization efforts be destined for success.  Therefore, deliberately investing in our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters, as language bearers with good teachings, is the most authentic key to the survival of our language. 

Nak-hahicetv


Ekvn-Yefolecv residents enjoy making traditional Maskoke textiles, pottery, basketry, carvings, beadwork as well as cooking traditional foods. 

Splitting wood for traditional ballsticks

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Just finished making this pair of traditional ballsticks

Feeding the people

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Cooking traditional foods

We feel strongly about making our own traditional clothes as both an outward assertion of our unique identity and avoidance of purchasing textiles that were manufactured under unethical laboring conditions. Sewing our own clothes also enables us to select non-toxic natural fabrics that are healthy for our skin and healthy for the natural world.

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Harvesting wood for traditional ballsticks

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Carving traditional ballsticks

Making moccasins for winter

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Rock your mocs day

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Sewing traditional clothes

Skirt made by Ekvn-Yefolecv resident

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Skirt made by Ekvn-Yefolecv resident

Shirt made by Ekvn-Yefolecv resident

Skirt made by

Ekvn-Yefolecv resident

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Items made by Ekvn-Yefolecv residents

Shirt made by Ekvn-Yefolecv resident

Ecosystem Restoration

Ekvn-Yefolecv believes strongly in our inherent ethical responsibility, as Maskoke People, to uphold a symbiotic relationship with all living beings in the ecosystems in which we reside. We are situated in a unique, yet endangered, montane Longleaf Pine ecosystem. This ecosystem is fire-dependent. Longleaf pines are a culturally significant species to Maskoke People - so much that our ancestors conducted prescribed burns to ensure the longevity and health of Longleaf Pine ecosystems. Prior to colonization, there existed 91 million acres of longleaf pines, but the combination of timber harvesting, land clearing for agriculture, turpentine production, and fire suppression has resulted in only 5% of the Longleaf Pine ecosystem remaining.  To revive our cultural tradition of applying prescribed fire to landscapes, Ekvn-Yefolecv works with partners to ensure the proliferation and sustainability of longleaf pines, as well as other species - such as the endangered Red Cocacked Woodpecker- that are dependent on the Longleaf Pine ecosystem for habitat.

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Prescribed fire at Ekvn-Yefolecv

We are also in the process of restoring 117 acres that were clearcut prior to Ekvn-Yefolecv’s reacquisition of our homelands. This acreage will be restored in the form of silvopasture, with dominant longleaf pines and intermittent hardwoods, for the expansion of our holistic management (intensive rotational grazing) efforts with bison to improve soil health.

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Prescribed fire in the pasture

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Montane longleaf pine forest

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Young longleaf pine tree with it's elder relatives standing behind it