By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Children who read the Cherokee language can now use an eye chart using the Cherokee syllabary when getting eye exams at the Cherokee Indian Hospital.
“The idea sprang up from a check-up that I had with my son who is in the Immersion Program,” said Renissa Walker, Kituwah Education and Preservation Program (KPEP) manager. “When they did the exam, they used the chart with symbols, and I asked the provider if they would be interested in a syllabary chart since they saw some of our students. They were very excited about the prospect and they gave us an English chart to use as a reference in the design.”
Walker said that the syllabary chart was designed and printed by Kituwah Academy employee Alex Cruz.
“As a parent, I am very excited to see Cherokee being used – not just as a display, or as art – but actually used by fluent speakers,” said Walker.
Jody Bradley, Cherokee Indian Hospital public relations officer, said of the syllabary chart, “I think it fits right in with our Cultural Immersion projects at the Hospital. Every project we do that contributes to language revitalization encourages our community to learn the language and the syllabary. The more we see it, the more we learn.”
Walker said that the syllabary eye charts can be made available to other health care facilities upon request. For more information, 554-6409.