By Murray Evans
He could dismiss the obvious reasons a kid might want an iPhone, except for this—he's a proud Cherokee and buying his daughter the phone just might help keep the tribe's language alive.
Nearly two centuries after a blacksmith named Sequoyah converted Cherokee into its own unique written form, the tribe has worked with Apple to develop Cherokee language software for the iPhone, iPod and—soon—the iPad. Computers used by students—including Lauren—at the tribe's language immersion school already allow them to type using Cherokee characters.
The goal, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith said, is to spread the use of the language among tech-savvy children in the digital age. Smith has been known to text students at the school using Cherokee, and teachers do the same, allowing students to continue using the language after school hours.