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TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - Cherokee Nation Foundation is furthering its commitment to the Cherokee language by creating unique opportunities for its preservation and advancement.
Cherokee Reading Center
Through a partnership with Cherokee Media Ltd., the foundation will create a one-of-a-kind Cherokee reading center featuring audio books in the Cherokee language. The first books were donated by Cherokee sisters America and Samonia Meredith of Noksi Press and are narrated by Cherokee elder Wynema Smith, who also authored the original stories. Director of Cherokee Media Andrew Sikora was also instrumental in the project's success.
“Our language is such a significant part of who we are,”
said Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
"We are so thankful for the important work the foundation does, and for the talented people volunteering countless hours to make a difference in the living history of the Cherokee Nation."
In addition to the reading center, the foundation also purchased digital textbooks for the Cherokee Language Immersion School. The books will be used in conjunction with existing classroom technology and the addition of the Kindle application for students in the sixth grade.
"Our mission is to provide higher educational assistance to the Cherokee people and to help revitalized the Cherokee language,"
said Kimberlie Gilliland, executive director of the Cherokee Nation Foundation.
"To succeed, we have to make sure the language lives in every medium and is available to the people who will be responsible for keeping it alive, our Cherokee youth."
The foundation also partnered with Cherokee Nation Natural Resources department to publish an ethnobotany book. The book examines the complex relationships between the Cherokee culture and its uses of plant life throughout history. With the translation and publishing of 1500 copies in both Cherokee and English, the book will become a vital part of the fifth and sixth grade curriculum at Cherokee Language Immersion School.
"It is because of our generous donors and loyal supporters that projects like these are possible,"
"As we continue to move forward, embracing today's technology and engaging our youth, we will ensure that the Cherokee language continues to thrive for generations to come."
posted February 8, 2012 12:30 pm est
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