Via Cherokee tribes work to keep language alive for new generations

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina are working to preserve the Cherokee language for future generations.

Only about 3,000 Cherokee Nation citizens speak the language on a regular basis, language program manager Roy Boney Jr. told The Wall Street Journal. That’s less than 1 percent of the tribal population.

“No one under 50 is fluent in Cherokee anymore,” Boney told the paper.

The Eastern Band, a much-smaller tribe, counts upwards of 400 fluent speakers, or less than 3 percent of the population. A successful immersion school, though, is helping to turn those numbers around and a tribal member and a tribal employee have developed software to teach the language to others.

“If their methods were so good, why do we keep losing the language?” tribal member John Standingdeer Jr. told The Journal, referring to other methods that he believes have failed.

Read the entire article in the Wall Street Journal, here.

Cherokees give more than $4 million in car tag revenue to area schools

From Tulsa World, here.  An excerpt:

CATOOSA — Cherokee Nation officials handed out more than $4 million in car-tag revenue funds to area school districts Friday as part of its annual Public School Appreciation Day at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Each year, the tribe allocates 38 percent of the revenue generated by its car-tag sales to northeastern Oklahoma school districts. Previously, funding was only given to districts at least partially within the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdictional area or within a two-mile buffer zone along its boundaries.

However, with tribal citizens statewide now able to purchase car tags, the Cherokee Tribal Council amended its car-tag law in February to include school districts just outside of the tribe’s jurisdictional areas in Tulsa, Rogers, Wagoner, Mayes and Muskogee counties. Those five counties alone accounted for $1.5 million in car-tag revenue in 2014.

Oklahoma SCT Decides Case in Favor of Indian Football Players at Sequoyah High School in Talequah

Here is the opinion in Scott v. Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Assn.:

2013-10-01 OSSAA Opinion

A summary of the case by Chad Smith, who represented the players:

The OSSAA suspended 12 students at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah and did not let compete in the state football championships.  Sequoyah is an Indian boarding school run by the Cherokee Nation.  The Oklahoma Supreme Court found the OSSAA was arbitrary and capacious and reversed the District Court.

Thanks to Turtletalk for this update.