Speakers of the Cherokee language gathered in Tahlequah Tuesday morning to celebrate the Cherokee Nation’s new $20,000,000 language center.
The Durbin Feeling Language Center will house all of the Cherokee Nation’s growing language programs under one roof for the first time.
This includes the Cherokee Language Master Apprenticeship Program for adult learners and the Tahlequah Cherokee Immersion Charter School.
“As Chief, I am so proud to hear the Cherokee language being spoken more and more not just here in the Cherokee Nation Reservation, but also when I visit Cherokee community groups across the country,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This is a direct result of Durbin’s vision to share and teach the Cherokee language, and the tireless commitment of our Cherokee language team who continues that mission -- because preserving and perpetuating the Cherokee language is preserving and perpetuating Cherokee identity. This state-of-the-art language center will help us continue to act swiftly and decisively so future generations grow up in a country where Native languages like the Cherokee language are revered as the unique, cultural treasures they truly are.”
The facility is named after Durbin Feeling, the Cherokee Nation’s largest contributor to the Cherokee language since Sequoyah.
It is estimated that there are only about 2,000 fluent Cherokee speakers in the Cherokee Nation.