The Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina University


If you learn Cherokee, you see the world differently.

Cherokee is the Indigenous language of the Cherokee people and is still spoken in Western NC. The Cherokee Language Program is part of Cherokee Studies and contributes to efforts to revitalize the Cherokee language, bringing it back into a language of everyday use. There are currently fewer than 200 fluent speakers of Cherokee living in North Carolina. Students can take Cherokee language courses toward completion of the undergraduate Cherokee Studies minor. Our classes also count towards fulfilling the foreign language requirements for undergraduate degrees. Our courses provide students with conversational skills and a solid grammatical understanding of the Cherokee language as well as opportunities for students to engage and collaborate with the Cherokee community. Our graduates can be found teaching Cherokee language in schools, working in cultural programs with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and surrounding areas, or attending graduate programs in a range of disciplines.

Cherokee Language Program Faculty


Dr. Sara Snyder, Director

McKee 105C

Prof. Rainy Brake, Instructor

McKee 105A