Patrick Del Percio

Patrick Del Percio [they, them, theirs] is a Cherokee language teacher and translator. They are Lector of Cherokee language in the Department of Linguistics at Yale University. Del Percio holds a B.A. in International Studies from DePaul University in Chicago. They are certified to teach the Cherokee language through the Cherokee Nation Language Department. Their language mentors include the late Durbin Feeling, Ed Fields, Christine Armer, David Crawler, and Lawrence Panther, among many others. They have also served as a contract translator and curriculum developer for the Cherokee Nation Language Program [ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏫᏒᎥᏍᎩ] since 2012. During this time, they have worked on such projects as translating Google and Microsoft interface from English to Cherokee, co-authoring a beginning Cherokee language textbook, and creating online language learning materials for adult learners; currently, they design educational materials to be used in the infant language immersion program. 

Before coming to Yale, Del Percio served as an Instructor of Cherokee language in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma where they taught three levels of Cherokee language courses. In 2020, they became a co-founder of the Center for Native Futures, a space to perpetuate Native art and presence in the city of Chicago and beyond. Through their teaching, writing, and language advocacy, Del Percio works to raise awareness of and create inclusive spaces for the continuation of Indigenous languages, histories, and cultures.