It was only two generations ago that those speaking native American languages were punished severely. Now a new school is encouraging its students to learn the language - before it is lost forever.

The Cherokee school is near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it currently only has 10 young students. But this is a start that parents and educators hope will grow into larger numbers as the idea spreads. Many parents are having to relearn the language to help their children with lessons.

Current estimates are that there are only 8,000 Cherokee speakers left, and that most of these are older adults. Many feel that is critical to teach a new generation of Cherokee the language before it becomes a dead language.

Other tribes have done better preserving their language. Most Navajos who live on reservations can speak the Navajo language, for example.

Native American Information