STILL WELL, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cherokee Nation has launched a program to assist those in their community who are fluent Cherokee speakers.

Recently, 70-year-old fluent Cherokee Speaker, Rosie Flute, was assisted by Speaker Services and received a new roof and stove.

Cherokee Speaker, Rosie Flute, and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. Image from the Cherokee Nation news release

“Speaking Cherokee has been my whole life, my parents, grandparents, everyone in my family we are all fluent speakers,” Flute said. “I think about the language (loss) a lot. And I appreciate what Speaker Services is doing. This program has been a big help and flows into our needs instead of us just about begging for help or not knowing who to contact. They are reaching out to the us.”

Since January, the Cherokee Nation has spent $1.2 million on over 200 houses and installed over 100 appliances to benefit Cherokee Speakers.

“We didn’t realize it would end up as big as it is,” Director of Cherokee Nation’s Language Department Howard Paden said. “The belief is if speakers aren’t worried about their roofs leaking, they can worry about their grandkids learning Cherokee. Over the next three years we are planning to fix 1,000 to 1,200 more Speaker homes and needs.”

To contact Speaker Services, please call 918-316-9080.