Treasured Teacher Embodies 100
Reasons to Learn Oneida
Condensed by Native Village
Wisconsin: When Maria Hinton was born nearly 100 years ago, every Oneida family spoke the language of their ancestors. Today, Hinton may be one of the last fluent Oneida speakers in Wisconsin.
is determined not to be the
In 1971, Maria and her brother, Amos Christjohn, began working with the Oneida Nation to teach the language to children. Two years later, at the age of 63, Hinton enrolled in the University of Wisconsin to earn her bachelor’s degree. She even learned to drive so she could get to her classes.
Hinton graduated cum laude in 1979. She and Christjohn became founding teachers at the Oneida Nation Turtle School. They also worked with other elder speakers for 35 years to compile a Oneida language dictionary. The dictionary grew to 34,000 words. It was published in 1996.
people began approaching Maria
to try out their Oneida. She
noticed that their pronunciation
was often terrible.
Last year, at age 99, Maria was honored with a Prism Award from the National Museum of the American Indian for her Oneida language efforts.
This year, Maria Hinton will be 100 years old
Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth,
educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich,
diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer
readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and
Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.
Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country.