yUdjEha nAnô sô KAnAnô ~ "We Euchees, we are still Here"
TZO-YA-HAÂ "zo-ya-ha" ~ Children of the Sun
The Euchee (Yuchi) people call themselves "Tzo-Ya-ha" or Offspring 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. A brief excerpt of our past can be read here:
The Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto, and his expedition first encountered the Euchee (Yuchi) people in the mountainous areas of Tennessee around 1540. At a point in time later they moved from that area due to conflicts with the Shawnee and Cherokee Indians as a result the Euchee moved 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 under the guise of a “wise and humane policy”, that policy being the “Indian Removal Act of 1830”. A policy where upon virtually all Tribes were removed from their homelands by force and marched into what was called “Indian Territory”. The Euchee people, along with other tribes, were removed from the Southeastern United States during the periods of 1820-1850 to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) which was set aside for tribes displaced from their native homelands. Several Euchee bands moved farther into Florida and became incorporated within the Seminole Tribe. Other Euchee bands 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” and thereby relegated to sub-marginal status in the dominant white society. Other Euchee who chose to stay in the Southeast Homelands were captured and sold into slavery.
Samuel W. Brown, Sr.
Euchee "Yuchi" Chief: 1867
According to elders, one band of Euchee became angered over how traditional dances were being performed, decided to leave and traveled west. That band was never seen again. It is believed they went to Oregon and were subsumed into the Northwestern tribes of that region.
Of the Euchee bands who were removed and placed in Indian Territory, only three currently have active ceremonial grounds. Two Euchee bands predominantly 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. These bands formed ceremonial grounds known as: “Duck Creek” situated in southern Tulsa County, “Polecat” situated near Sapulpa and Kellyville, and “Sand Creek” situated near Slick and Depew. Membership to a ceremonial ground is “maternal” meaning membership is based upon the mother’s home ground. One usually attends the annual Green Corn ceremonies at their home ceremonial ground. Many Euchee people reside outside the area and return annually for the "Green Corn" ceremony. Although there are three active ceremonial grounds, the Euchee are one people.
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 Euchees were estimated at 1,200 individuals at that time. The Dawes Commission politically devastated the Euchee (Yuchi) people as it legally classified them as Creeks for the purposes of land allotment.
In 1997, the Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe started a formal enrollment of tribal members, resulting in 249 members enrolling. At that time, many Euchee (Yuchi) people did not enroll. As some believe that being enrolled Euchee (Yuchi) could effect Services and Benefits with their current tribe, this is not true. Tribal enrollment with the Euchee (Yuchi) tribe does not affect this status as we are not currently Federally Recognized.
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