Doris Jean Lamar-McLemore (April 16, 1927 – August 30, 2016) was an American teacher who was the last fluent speaker of the Wichita language, a Caddoan language spoken by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, indigenous to the U.S. states of Oklahoma and Texas.
Doris McLemore in 2010
Doris Jean Lamar
April 16, 1927
|Died||August 30, 2016 (aged 89)|
|Occupation||Teacher (of Wichita language classes)|
|Known for||Last fluent speaker of the Wichita language|
McLemore was born in 1927 in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Her mother was Wichita and her father was European-American. McLemore was raised by her fullblood Wichita maternal grandparents, and Wichita was her first language.
McLemore graduated from Riverside Indian School, an American Indian boarding school, in 1947 and worked as a house mother there for 30 years. She married twice and had a son and two daughters. In 1959 McLemore moved back to live near Gracemont, Oklahoma, to live among her relatives.
Language preservation workEdit
"Doris is amazing for being able to retain as much as she does without having anyone to speak it to on a daily basis," said former Wichita tribal chairman, Gary McAdams. She died on August 30, 2016, at the age of 89.
- "The Last Living Speaker of the Wichita Language: NPR" (Audio interview).
- "Last fluent speaker of Wichita tribal language preserves what's left." Dallas Morning News.
- Ruckman, S. E. "Tribal language fading away." Tulsa World. 26 Nov 2007 (retrieved 3 Oct 2009)
- Somby, Liv Inger, published USA: The Last to Speak Wichita Language. Archived April 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Gáldu. (retrieved 3 Oct 2009)
- Wichita Language Class. Archived 2010-07-02 at the Wayback Machine Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. 18 Feb 2009 (retrieved 3 Oct 2009)
- Poolaw, Rhiannon (31 August 2016). "Last Wichita Speaker Passes Away". ABC News 7. KSWO. Retrieved 1 September 2016.