gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Sep 21 19:25:46 UTC 2003
Oklahoma school preserves Cherokee language
By Jenny Burns
The Associated Press
LOST CITY, Okla. The kindergarten teacher speaks to her class in Cherokee,
telling the children to pull out their mats for naptime. Using their
Cherokee names, she instructs "Yo-na," or Bear, to place his mat away from
"A-wi," or Deer. Soft Cherokee music lulls them to sleep.
These youngsters' parents were mocked for speaking Cherokee. Their
grandparents were punished. But Cherokee is the only language these children
will speak in their public-school classroom.
By immersing the youngsters in the language of their ancestors, tribal
leaders are hoping to save one of the many endangered American Indian
It is a modest start, consisting of 10 kindergartners in a single classroom
at the Lost City School, 50 miles east of Tulsa. But their Cherokee language
instruction will continue throughout their school years.
Also, story on Trail of Tears remembrance at
Baking the World a Better Place
More information about the Endangered-languages-l