Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation students keep our language alive

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker, far left, and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden with 2015 graduates of the Cherokee Language Immersion School. Photo from Anadisgoi

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker highlights to promote the Cherokee language at the upcoming White House Native youth conference:
Our Cherokee Language Immersion School has proven to be effective for our youngest children, and the Cherokee Speaker’s Bureau is a wonderful tool for our elders to congregate and speak the language. But there was nothing designed specifically for outreach to young adults.

That’s why the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council is launching the Gen-I Cherokee Language 2020 Challenge.

It is an effort to challenge Cherokee citizens to do their part in speaking or learning the Cherokee language. Pledge forms have been created for individuals and families to accept the Cherokee Language 2020 Challenge, which challenges all of us to speak Cherokee daily and to encourage others to learn the language.

In 2020, just five years from now, we can reassess the number of Cherokee speakers on behalf of the youth council and see if their targeted outreach was effective. These youth ambassadors have met with Cherokee Nation department leaders and other stakeholders to implement and promote their five-year plan.

It’s especially encouraging for this age group because Cherokee is now available on so many smartphones, computers and other technology-driven platforms.

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Bill John Baker: Youth leaders accept challenge to White House’s Generation Indigenous challenge (The Grand Lake News 6/16)

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