Jessica Martin (Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ/Six Nations Cayuga)
I am Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ from Oswe:gę’ (Six Nations of the Grand River). I was very fortunate to grow up learning Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ from many first language speakers in an immersion elementary school. They helped me build a solid foundation through our language and teachings. Ever since I was young, I played various sports but I went on to pursue my career in softball at Syracuse University. At the same time, I obtained my B.A in History and Education with a minor in Native American Studies. I came back to my community to learn Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ in an adult immersion program and then further down the road went on to get a Master’s degree in Indigenous Studies from Carleton University. From there I travelled overseas to Germany to play softball in the Bundesliga (Major League). However, my biggest accomplishment to this day was having my daughter and teaching her Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ. It is so beautiful to see and hear her speak her first words in our language.