By Tesina Jackson
“From our perspective at the university, especially my students in the programs that we run at Northeastern, they practice Cherokee all day long in classrooms. They practice Cherokee in the hallways there, but they really don’t bring it outside into the community where they can mix with the fluent speakers, where they can mix with the people that use it everyday out on the streets of Tahlequah, out in the roads of the communities,” said Dr. Leslie Hannah, NSU Cherokee programs director. “They’ve got classroom Cherokee, so this is our effort to bring that Cherokee out of the classroom into the community and let them get some community Cherokee because it is a community language.”
At the Boomerang Café, NSU students changed the menus from English to Cherokee so waitresses and customers spoke Cherokee when dealing with food orders.
“Right now we’re really trying to create venues for the language use. So today was a great step in order to get a lot of the parents from the immersion school, as well as children and students from the university to use the language they’ve been learning,” NSU student Hayley Miller said.