Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Course Content, and Kentucky Native News

I'll be posting some of the responses I got to the question "WHY do you
want to learn Cherokee?" Most of the answers are not reasons, but
justifications, and it becomes increasingly clear to me why many of you
aren't learning.

The first of the instructional course videos will be published today on
the free page. It's part of the Lesson 3 material. Tests 3 through 10
will be posted as videos.

A month ago, a group of Kentucky Indians put their canoes into the Ohio
River where it first touches Kentucky, up by the West Virginia border.
Their mission was to canoe the Kentucky's stretch of the Ohio, stopping
at towns along the way to tell people about issues and initiatives for
this state's Native community. This past Saturday, they finished their
voyage at Wickliffe Mounds, a few miles downriver from the junction
where the Ohio joins the Mississippi. It was a daunting and draining
undertaking, and I'm very proud to say that at least four of the
organizers, Jerry TwoFeather Thornton, his wife Vicki, Nighthawk
Troutman, and Mike Dunn (recently appointed to the state's Native
American Heritage Commission) are all current or former Cherokee
students. In fact, voyage leader Jerry Thornton organized live classes
in Taylorsville, KY two years ago after several years of trying to find
an instructor.
So congratulations to all for this impressive undertaking!

A few have invited me to set up as a vendor at their powwow, telling
people about the Speak Cherokee program. Because of the expense and time
commitment, I seldom go to powwows, and certainly not as a vendor.
However, if you are a powwow-er, I have business cards which you can put
out or hand out. In fact, I'd be grateful if you did. Just send me your
mailing address.
Incidentally, one reason I'm not big on powwows is that they have little
or nothing to do with our Southeastern cultures. While Gen. Sherman once
said "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," the powwow circuit follows
Hollywood in preaching "The only REAL Indian is a plains Indian."

Brian Wilkes
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