April 9, 2019
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation language technology specialist Wade Blevins has been appointed to an Oklahoma State Department of Education language advisory team.
Blevins is joining the World Languages Other Than English Advisory Team. The purpose of the group is to meet with experts in world languages from across Oklahoma to develop a multi-year strategic plan for the professional development and programmatic support that will ultimately be offered to schools, teachers and students in world languages.
“Wade’s appointment to this advisory board is another example of the longstanding cooperation between Cherokee Nation and the Oklahoma State Department of Education,” said Cherokee Nation Language Program Manager Roy Boney. “It will provide language revitalization programs a voice at the state level in the areas of teacher certification and curriculum. Wade will be a good advocate not just for Cherokee language but for other indigenous languages in Oklahoma, too.”
Blevins will serve on the advisory team during the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, as well as during the 2019-20 school year.
“I personally feel this is a great step forward to indigenous languages to be included in the development and growth of world languages other than English in our state,” Blevins said. “My personal dream is to see dual language tracks in Cherokee and English in schools all across the 14 county Cherokee Nation jurisdictional service area, and I feel this is a step in that direction. I also feel this will help me stay informed about what’s happening in language acquisition across the state and be able to reach out for support in improving our own efforts to revitalize our language and identity.”
Blevins, of Jay, has been working on Cherokee language revitalization for more than a decade. He has a Bachelor’s in Education and Spanish and a Master’s in Education in Gifted and Talented Education with an emphasis in Native American students.