Time To Get To Class!
By Sabrina Matheny • Rumble Contributor | I used to be a French teacher. I really enjoyed working with young people. I recognized that learning a language takes courage and felt that step one in getting my students to use the language would be building their confidence.
Away from home: Indian boarding schools leave lasting legacy
Mary Smith Sneed was just four or five years old the day a wagon rolled up as she played outside near the family home at Mingo Falls. The wagon stopped, and a Cherokee man named John Crowe greeted her. Crowe, who also happened to be a truant officer employed by the Cherokee Boarding School, invited her to get in the wagon.
Language has changed but racism remains
Though we are as divided as we have ever been as a country, the one thing we seemed to be able to agree on is that recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd were heinous, both reminders that the evil of racism still exists in America. We shared this “common ground” for about five minutes before the waves of protests and rioting began, and then the sudden abrupt shift in focus by one group from the murders to the reaction to the murders revealed that we had not, after all, reached some new level of mutual understanding.
Symposium seeks input on Cherokee language preservation
How do you create new fluent speakers in a language that’s no longer the common tongue of its community?
That’s the difficult question about 75 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians faced on Friday, Jan. 31, the second day of a two-day symposium focused on saving the Cherokee language.
WCU student working to translate Cherokee language from native newspaper
Constance Owl’s master’s degree thesis is more than a means to a graduate degree in American history. It’s a portal to understanding, and perhaps saving, a disappearing language.
Annual Council focuses on language preservation
In the wake of a June 27 joint resolution from the three Cherokee tribes that declared the native language to be in a state of emergency, this year’s Annual Council sessions in Cherokee revealed language preservation to be a priority for tribal members of all backgrounds and political persuasions.
The right path: Beloved Woman Ella Bird reflects on life marked by family, tradition
For the past 79 years, Ella Wachacha Bird has lived a life defined by seasons and relationships rather than months and days.
Bird, the daughter of Rily Wachacha and Ancy Walkingstick, was born in a log cabin in the remote West Buffalo area of Graham County’s Snowbird community in 1939. She was delivered by her grandmother Maggie Wachacha, a midwife at the time who would later become a clerk to Tribal Council and, like Ella, a Beloved Woman in the tribe.
Cherokee from the heart: Beloved Woman reflects on a wandering life rooted in Cherokee language
If anyone ever had an excuse to leave her hometown and never return, it would be Myrtle Driver Johnson.
Born May 21, 1944, to a mother who didn’t want her, Johnson had a hard upbringing in the Big Cove community of the Qualla Boundary. While her younger siblings — one brother and four sisters — lived with her mother and their father, Johnson, who never knew which of two men her father was, was sent to live with her grandparents.
Cherokee laughter: Tribe’s newest Beloved Woman reflects on life full of love for language and community
Shirley Jackson Oswalt can still remember the first words she said in English.
Her older siblings had prepped her before she headed off to her first day of first grade at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Snowbird Day School in Robbinsville, and when the teacher came over to greet her, Oswalt knew her line.
Delving into the origin of Native American words
Editor’s note: This article was first published in The Smoky Mountain News in December 2003.
Tuckaseigee, Oconaluftee, Heintooga, Wayah, Cullasaja, Hiwassee, Coweeta, Stecoah, Steestachee, Skeenah, Nantahala, Aquone, Katuwah, and on and on. Our place names here in the Smokies region are graced throughout with evidence of the Cherokee culture that prevailed for over 700 years. Wouldn’t it be nice if Clingmans Dome was correctly designated as Mount Yonah (high place of the bears)?