Indigenous Walls Project brings Cherokee language to public spaces

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On April 3, Jared Wheatley was 20 minutes into painting the first mural of the Indigenous Walls Project at 46 Aston St., when a young family of three approached him and inquired what he was doing.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, this is the Cherokee language.’ And the boy, who’s maybe 4 or 5, is like, ‘Cherokee language?’” says Wheatley, a dual citizen of the U.S. and the Cherokee Nation. “And the mom says, ‘Yeah! Actually, the Cherokee people used to own all of this.’ Before I could even step up and say anything, she started explaining to her son that there are people here that have always been here and been on the land.” FOR MORE

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The Cherokee Nation is a sovereign tribal government. Upon settling in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) after the Indian Removal Act, the Cherokee people established a new government in what is now the city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. A constitution was adopted on September 6, 1839, 68 years prior to Oklahoma’s statehood. FOR MORE

 

Photo Credit: Erda Estremera in Unsplash

art and education, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, wnc artists, WNC HISTORY

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