Verdena Leona Parker (née Chase) is the last fluent speaker of the Hupa language, an Athabaskan language spoken by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, indigenous to northern California. While other children of her generation were sent to boarding schools, isolating them from their families, Parker was raised by her grandmother, who spoke Hupa with her. Through adulthood, Parker continued to speak Hupa with her mother daily, maintaining a high level of fluency despite language loss in the rest of the Hupa community.
Verdena Leona Chase
March 1, 1936
Hoopa Valley, California
|Known for||Most fluent speaker of the Hupa language|
Beginning in 2008 and continuing through the present, Parker has regularly worked with researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford to provide recordings of spoken Hupa for the documentation of the Hupa language. She is also active in language revitalization projects.
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