Cherokee Language Symposium to be held at WCU

by Mar 15, 2018Happenings


CULLOWHEE — Western Carolina University’s Cherokee Language Program and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian will host the 2nd Annual Undergraduate Cherokee Language Program: Language Revitalization and New Technologies on March 25-27. The events on Monday, March 26 are open to the public and will be held at WCU’s Health and Human Services Building in Room 204. There will be four expert panelists presenting about technology and language revitalization topics and a keynote address from Mohawk language activist Marion DeLaronde.

The events on the other days are open to currently enrolled college students, Cherokee language instructors, and Cherokee community members. Attendees will spend Sunday visiting Cherokee sites and engaging with members of the Snowbird community. On Tuesday at the Museum, attendees will be treated to panel discussions by teachers and students, a lunchtime talk by bilingual expert Lauren Cadwallader Stolte, and a conversation with Robert Daugherty, director of Community and Cultural Outreach for Cherokee Nation, and Joe Byrd, former Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Students and instructors from WCU, UNCA, UNC, Northeastern University (Oklahoma), Stanford, and Elon will be among those attending. “This symposium is important because it allows collaboration and communication between all the various constituencies of university-level Cherokee learners in NC and beyond,” states Dr. Benjamin Frey, an EBCI tribal member and professor at UNC Chapel Hill.  “We’ll get to visit with one another and see that we’re not alone in this incredibly important work, and we’ll be able to be inspired by what each other is doing.“

Fifteen students from Stanford University, led by Constance Owl, an EBCI tribal member, and Grace Young, will be attending the symposium as part of a Stanford spring break travel course entitled, “Rewiring the ‘Electric Brain’: Exploring the Role of Tech in Language Revitalization.”

Western Carolina University Cherokee Language Program offers courses in Cherokee Language and linguistics, Cherokee Studies, and engages in collaborative community efforts to revitalize the Cherokee language.

Info: Sara Snyder at, (828)227-2303