TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program is now accepting applications. The two-year language program is centered on a group language immersion experience and only accepts a limited number of applications each year.
“This language program is critical in how we will continue to preserve and promote our language for future generations,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Every day that the men and women of that department work with their students is another day that they help preserve our language.”
After completing the program, students will have 4,000 contact hours with the Cherokee language and will have spent more than 40 hours each week studying and speaking the language.
“Each generation of Cherokee people have been tasked with challenges,” said Howard Paden, director of the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program. “This generation’s greatest challenge is whether or not our precious Cherokee language will continue to exist as a living language. The Cherokee language has helped us overcome some of the greatest adversities written in history. We know, without a doubt, the values that flow over us through the Cherokee language are sacred. It is time for us as Cherokee people to save this precious gift.”
In 2014, the tribe began the program as a part of the Cherokee Nation Community & Cultural Outreach department as a way to promote the Cherokee language. Since its inception, the program has grown into its own department.
As part of his first 100 days initiatives, Chief Hoskin proposed in August the largest investment in language programs in the tribe’s history, including a plan that will dedicate millions of dollars in business profits to create a new language program facility. It also will quadruple the size of the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program.
Applicants must be 18 years or older, be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., live near Tahlequah or be willing to relocate, and possess a strong desire to learn and cultivate the Cherokee language and culture through teaching.
The deadline for applications is Oct. 1, 2019.
Applications are available at https://language.cherokee.org/language-programs/cherokee-language-master-apprentice-program/.
For more information, call the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program office at 918-207-4964.