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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Tahlate

The Kiwat Hasinay Foundation

In the 1990s, several Haseenay community members including Charlene Brown Wright, Donnie Frank, Marilyn Williams Threlkeld, Stacey Halfmoon, George Beatty, Mary Cecile Elkins Carter, Vermona Shemamy Collins, Madeline Wolf Hamilton, Alberta James Tewinin Beatty, Marjorie Brown Botone, Randlett Edmonds, Buntin Williams, and Phil Newkumet teamed up with the linguists and anthropologists Robert Brian Levy, Dr. Lynette Melnar, Pete Gregory, Dayna Bowker Lee, Dr. Alice Anderton and Dr. Wallace Chafe. Their efforts led to the establishment of the Kiwat Hasinay Foundation, which has since fallen inactive as only 9 of the 19 board members and advisors remain earthside. The Kiwat Hasinay Foundation created the first Caddo language book in the Caddo tribe’s history and held Caddo language classes in Gracemont, OK in the early 90s and into the early 2000s under the direction of Charlene Wright, Vermona Collins, Brian Levy, and Alice Anderton, PhD.

It would be remiss not to recognize the living original members of the Kiwat Hasinay Foundation who worked tirelessly to impart their knowledge and experience to the next generation of Caddo language learners...

Charlene Brown Wright Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation Board Chair and Caddo tribal elder Robert Brian Levy Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation executive director and linguist

Donnie Frank Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation member and Caddo tribal elder Marilyn Willliams Threlkeld Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation member and Caddo tribal elder

Stacey Halfmoon Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation member and Caddo tribal member George Beatty Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation member and Caddo tribal member

Lynette Melnar Former Kiwat Hasinay Foundation member, linguist, and author of Caddo Verb Morphology

In Memoriam

Departed Kiwat Hasinay foundation members and Haseenay language activists:

† Sadie Bedoka Weller (1901 – 1970) † Jesse Ahdunko Sr. (1904 – 1988) † Leon Carter Sr. (1912 – 1995) † Phil Newkumet (1913 – 2006) † Wilson Kionute (1914 – 2004) † Randlett Edmonds Sr. (1914 – 2011) † Melford Williams (1916 – 1978) † Alberta James Beatty (1920 – 2013) † Madeline Wolf Hamilton (1923 – 2020) † Buntin Williams (1925 – 2009) † Mary Cecile Elkins Carter (1926 – 2011) † Vermona Shemamy Collins (1930 – 2020) † Marjorie Brown Botone (1935 – 2017) Academics and Tayshas: † Daniel Pattee da Cruz Jr. (1921 – 1991) † Wallace Chafe, PhD. (1928 – 2019) † Alice Anderton, PhD. (1949 – 2015)

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