Cherokee Language Course Launches via 7000 Languages’ Partnership with the Cherokee PINS Project
New offering seeks to preserve Cherokee culture through the power of language.
Boston, MA — September 22, 2022 — 7000 Languages, a 501(C)(3) registered non-profit that empowers communities around the world to teach, learn and sustain their endangered languages, today announced the first in a series of Cherokee language courses. The courses aim to assist Cherokee Nation community members in achieving their goal of reconnecting with, and preserving, their language through the development of specialized language learning resources. The courses are free to Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band tribal members.
The online program provides an effective and engaging experience for Cherokee language learners looking to learn the syllabary and build their vocabulary. One of the most exciting features is that learners can practice their listening and speaking skills with voice recognition software that is guided by native and second language speakers.
The first course in the series will teach the Cherokee syllabary and beginning Cherokee using the technology provided by international language platform Transparent Language. The project offers a new way to access Cherokee language learning tools and each course is guided by Cherokee National Treasure David Scott and Cherokee speaker Sean ᏙᏧᏩ Sikora.
“One of the greatest lessons we learn as a child is to honor our Elders. Nowhere has this been instilled more than growing up in and attending the Cherokee Immersion School,” says project intern Sean ᏙᏧᏩ Sikora. “As a member of the first Cherokee immersion class, it has been an incredible honor to work on this program. Organizations like 7000 Languages show that language revitalization efforts do in fact work — helping to close the gap and enable our language to be passed on from one generation to the next.”
To develop the courses, 7000 Languages has partnered with Project GWY, an online learning platform that was created with the help of volunteers from the Cherokee PINS Project Foundation, Dr. Brad Montgomery-Anderson, Cherokee Nation Council Member Dr. Julia Coates and former Council Member Mary Baker Shaw. The Cherokee PINS Project Foundation is a 501(C)(3) committed to enhancing civic education and engagement between Cherokee Nation citizens who reside within the tribal reservation with the greater Cherokee community at-large.
“One of our most reflective first-language Cherokee speakers, David Scott, has always stood ready to advance the cause of Cherokee language revitalization,” states Dr. Julia Coates, Cherokee Nation Councilor. “Dr. Brad Anderson from Colorado Mesa University is renowned for his work with the academic and linguistic components of the language. All have given so generously of their time and expertise. This initiative achieves a major goal of the PINS Project in bringing together community and academic experts to create a unique space for engagement. It will now be available for the larger online community to become part of the educational engagement to advance Cherokee language sovereignty."
Since its inception in 2016, 7000 Languages has created 54 courses, in 28 different Indigenous languages, donating $15million worth of technology at zero cost to its community partners. The launch of this particular project celebrates years of hard work, dedication and passion by both 7000 Languages employees, volunteers and partners within the Cherokee community.
"7000 Languages is committed to providing language learning materials and resources to all Indigenous and minority communities. The need is urgent, and we believe each and every community deserves the opportunity and resources to keep their language alive. It was an honor to provide our services at no charge to the Cherokee PINS Project to help keep Cherokee alive for future generations,” says Stephanie Witkowski, Executive Director for 7000 Languages.
The Cherokee language courses are available now and are free to Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band tribal members. For more information visit www.7000.org/cherokee.