NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ871246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
The Atse Kituwah Academy: An Immersion Model that Holds the Key to the Future of the Cherokee Language and Culture
Redmond, Mary Lynn; Wiethaus, Ulrike
Learning Languages, v15 n1 p34-37 Fall 2009
The Atse Kituwah Academy (New Kituwah Academy) houses the new Cherokee immersion school in Cherokee, North Carolina. Cherokee is located on the Qualla Boundary in the mountains of the western part of the state, the contemporary homeland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). In 2005, a comprehensive study of the health of the Cherokee language revealed that of a population of over 10,000 EBCI members, only about 420 members were fluent speakers. Of these, 72% were older than 51 years. Only 2% of all households used the Cherokee language at home. The study estimated that the last fluent speaker will pass away in about 25 years. The EBCI has reacted forcefully to these dire statistics. Two years after the publication of the study, the Kituwah Language Revitalization Initiative was in place to guide a comprehensive multi-pronged tribal effort to save and revitalize the Cherokee language. Supported by the tribal government and supplemented by programs to re-establish public usage of Cherokee in local media and the community at large, the immersion school has become a key component of the Kituwah Initiative. In addition to supporting the Atse Kituwah Academy, the EBCI has forged a partnership with Western Carolina University (North Carolina) to create teaching licensure programs for language teachers through university courses and internships and to conduct language revitalization research and scholarship. In October of 2007, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, the EBCI in North Carolina, Northeastern State University, and the United Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians formed the Cherokee Language Consortium to unite linguistic resources and organize joint programs to revitalize and strengthen Cherokee language. Such unity of purpose and action is firmly grounded in the knowledge that "the values, culture, and spirituality of Cherokee peoples are embodied in their language and culture." (Contains 9 online resources about Cherokee Indian culture, language, and history.)
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Oklahoma