Education | National

Eastern Cherokees work to teach language to new generations

The New Kituwah Academy in North Carolina. Photo from Vermont Timber Works

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina is creating new generations of Cherokee language speakers.

The tribe opened the New Kituwah Academy in 2004. The school immerses students in the Cherokee language at an early age.

“We’re trying to keep a culture going,” Haley Smith, 11, told the Associated Press.

Haley is currently in the fifth grade and is a member of the first class at attend Kituwah. She will be able to continue her studies there -- the tribe approved funding to expand the school for grades 6 through 12.

"We’re singing our songs again,” Bo Taylor, whose daughter is another fifth-grader, told the AP. “We’re telling our stories. And the one thing that we have is hope.”

The tribe counts between 300 and 400 fluent speakers of Cherokee in North Carolina.

Get the Story:
Hopes of preserving Cherokee language rest with children (AP 3/25)
Teaching in Cherokee - kindergarten means words and pictures (AP 3/25)

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