Richard Grounds

The first guest for the 2019-20 Native American Speakers Series at UNC Pembroke has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Dr. Richard Grounds, executive director of the Yuchi Language Project in Oklahoma, will speak at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Southeast American Indian. The event is free and open to the public.

As part of the Yuchi Language Project, Grounds works with Yuchi elders in creating new fluent speakers using immersion language methods. Grounds, who is of Yuchi and Seminole heritage, earned his Ph.D in history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary, and has taught at St. Olaf College and in the Anthropology Department at the University of Tulsa. 

He is currently chair of the Global Indigenous Languages Caucus and served as the expert for the North American Region at the Expert Meeting on Indigenous Languages held by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2016. Grounds was the consistent voice calling for an International Year of Indigenous Languages since the beginning of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2002, which has now been declared by the U.N. General Assembly for 2019.

He received the Humanities in Education Award from the Oklahoma Humanities Council for 2013 and is active in Picket Chapel, the local Yuchi Methodist church, and at Polecat Yuchi Ceremonial Ground.

The talk is sponsored by the American Indian Studies Department’s Native American Speakers Series and the Teaching and Learning Center. For information, contact Dr. Jane Haladay at

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