yUdjEha nAnô sô KAnAnô ~ "We Euchees, we are still Here"
TZO-YA-HA "zo-ya-ha" ~ Children of the Sun
The Euchee (Yuchi) people call themselves "Tzo-Ya-ha" or Children of the Sun.
The Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe, a non-federally recognized Indian tribe, is a formal entity incorporated within the State of Oklahoma. Some of the history of our people that we have been able to locate on an informal basis is as follows:
The Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto, and his expedition first encountered the Euchee (Yuchi) people in the mountainous areas of Tennessee around 1540. They were forced from that area by the Shawnee and Cherokee Indians, where the Euchee fled into what is now Georgia and Alabama. They later joined a loosely organized confederacy already established in the Southeast prior to the arrival of the Muskogean tribes. In the late 1700s, some of the Euchee bands joined the Muscogee Confederacy, which was comprised of 48 other autonomous tribal towns that retained the right to govern their own people. Euchee people were considered as one town within the Confederacy.
In the early 1800s, the Southern states were calling for the removal of Tribes that lived within their borders. After Andrew Jackson became President, he engineered the whole-scale removal of all of the Tribes from the Southeast. The Euchee people, along with other tribes, were forcibly removed from the Southeastern United States during the periods of 1820-1850 to the new Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) which was set aside for
Samuel W. Brown, Sr.
Euchee "Yuchi" Chief: 1867
tribes displaced from their native homelands. Several Euchee bands moved further into Florida, and became incorporated within the Seminole tribe. Other Euchee bands were allied with the Shawnees, and were incorporated within that tribe. Several Euchee bands moved further into Florida, and became incorporated within the Seminole tribe. Other Euchee bands were allied with the Shawnees, and were incorporated within that tribe.
The Euchee who remained in the South are still there, but because they were Indian and not white, they were labeled “Colored” thereby relegated to sub-marginal status in the dominant white society. Yet, other Euchee who chose to stay in the Southeast Homelands, were captured and sold into slavery. According to one of the old stories, one band of Euchee became angered over how traditional dances were being performed, packed up, traveled west and were never seen again. It is believed they went to Oregon and were subsumed into the Northwestern tribes of that region.
Of the nine (9) bands of Euchee people who were removed to Indian Territory, only three currently identified have an active ceremonial ground. These are: Duck Creek, situated in southern Tulsa County, Polecat Creek and Sand Creek, the last two are located in southern and western portions of Creek County. Membership to a ceremonial ground is based upon the Mother’s home Ground membership. One usually attends the annual Green Corn ceremonies at their home ceremonial ground. Many Euchee people reside outside the area and return “home” for Green Corn at their ceremonial grounds. Although there are three active ceremonial grounds, the Euchee are one people.
Two Euchee bands predominately settled in Creek County near the towns of Sapulpa, Kellyville, Bristow, Slick, and Depew. Another Euchee band settled south of Glenpool and Bixby in Tulsa County, and Hectorville located near the Tulsa/Okmulgee County line.
The last official listing of Euchee people occurred over 100 years ago, on the 1890 and 1895 Rolls, prepared in conjunction with the Dawes Commission enrollment. The Euchee were estimated at 1,200 individuals at that time. Depending upon blood quantum, it is estimated that Euchee currently number over 2,000. This number is based on a list of over 1,100 names submitted to the Indian Claims Commission in the 1950’s, along with a “Land Claim”, and estimated increases since then.
In 1997, the Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe started a formal enrollment of tribal members, resulting in 249 members actually enrolling. At that time, many Euchee (Yuchi) people did not enroll, as they did not want to possibly jeopardize services and benefits from dual enrollment with another tribe. However, tribal enrollment with the Euchee (Yuchi) tribe does not affect tribal enrollment in another tribe, as we are not federally recognized at this point.
EUCHEE MISSION BOARDING SCHOOL
Plans to establish a school for the Euchee were begun by the Presbyterian Board in 1891. On November 1, 1893, the National Council of the Creek Nation passed an act appropriating $7,000.00 to be used in the erection of a school building in Euchee Town to be known as a boarding school and to be used to educate Euchee children. The location of this school proved to be rather fortunate, as it was located near Sapulpa. As the city developed, the school was surrounded by a good residential section, and thereby the value of the property increased.
Much credit for founding the school is due Samuel Brown, Noah Gregory, Henry Land and William Sapulpa, whose work influenced the Creek Council to make an
appropriation for the school from tribal funds. Buildings were then erected and the school opened in the fall of 1894. In the beginning the school had only three buildings, including two dormitories and a three-room school house, all located on 40 acres of tribal property about a mile east of Sapulpa. Other buildings were added later.
The school was primarily established by the Creek government for the education of full-blooded Euchee children, who, while on the Creek tribal roll, did not associate or mix with the regular Creeks. It was agreed by the Council that the school would be co-educational and 50 Euchee and 30 Creek children would be accepted.
In 1922, because of a readjustment, Euchee Boarding School became a school for boys, with a capacity of 110. This arrangement was carried on until the Creek tribal funds were exhausted, then it became necessary to finance the school out of gratuitous funds. In 1928, the school was taken over and supported entirely by Federal appropriations, under supervision of the United States Indian Office.
In 1929, the 9th grade was placed in Sapulpa public schools. This arrangement proved so successful that the 7th and 8th grades were sent to Sapulpa junior high the next year. The following year the 5th and 6th grades were sent to Woodlawn school, leaving only the first four grades at the Mission.
In 1947, the school was closed and the land and buildings were sold to School District No. 33 for use by the Sapulpa public schools.
To honor this former school, the Pride in Sapulpa Committee had bi-lingual street signs placed along the corridor where the school had been. The signs read: Mission Street “Yugeeha Yustin”. In the Euchee language there was no word for “mission”, and this translation means “Euchee Way.”
Euchee Boarding School