Haliwa-Saponi Historic Legacy Project

Kindergarten students TT Askew, Alicia Garcia Elvira, Haylen Lovelace and Mercy Nelms are students in Jakeli Swimmer's Cherokee language and culture class at Robbinsville Elementary.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Marty Richardson was in high school when he started a deep dive into the history of his people:  the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. He emerged from dusty library archives with the epiphany that his ancestors spoke Tutelo-Saponi, a language that had since nearly disappeared. 

Courtesy Marty Richardson / Fotoworkz by Ivan Studio

Marty Richardson wanted to know more about his culture. He grew up with his family in Maryland, a ways removed from the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe in North Carolina to which he is a member.