If you learn Cherokee, you see the world differently.

Eastern Cherokee Histories in Translation (ECHT) 


Eastern Cherokee Histories in Translation (ECHT) is a project to collect, translate, and annotate handwritten Eastern Cherokee social documents as a series of printed critical editions with interactive digital components.  The archival materials for translation stand as the largest body of existing Cherokee documents that articulate the history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) from the mid-nineteenth century through the early twentieth century from a Cherokee perspective in the Cherokee language. However, this perspective is inaccessible for all but a handful of fluent, literate Cherokee speakers because only a small fraction of these documents has been translated into English. The long-term goals of ECHT is to bring these texts into dialogue with other written and oral histories through critical annotation and contextualization apparatuses and make these materials accessible to future tribal members and historians of the EBCI, Appalachia, and the American Southeast. Our approach is historical and documentarian but made possible through decades of linguistic training in the Cherokee language that is ethnographically based and builds upon longstanding collaborative relationships and an MOU between WCU and the EBCI, one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. 


National Museum of Natural History MS2241a, 2241b, 2241d (the “Inoli Letters”) 

The diary journals of Will West Long at the Gilcrease Museum and the American Philosophical Society.  


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