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Courses Cherokee Government & Society

1) Language, Values, and Worldview: An introduction to some ways that language and worldview are connected, as well as the meanings a written language has held for Cherokees both in the past and the present that may contribute to a unique sense of Cherokee identity.

2) Identity and Nationality in the Interpretation of Cherokee History: An introduction to some ways to evaluate how the histories have been written so we can be more conscious and critical readers. We explore how the historical narrative can either empower or undermine Cherokee identity and nationality/sovereignty.

3) Geography, Place, and Environment as Contributors to Cherokee Identity: Going beyond the study of places that are significant to the Cherokees to contemplate the ways that places and environment have shaped and continue to shape a sense of Cherokee identity, especially when relocations have been such a prominent part of our tribal experience. 

 4) Historic and Contemporary Cherokee Identity Construction: This module introduces some ways to clarify different categories of Cherokee identity and separate them from each other. (Blood degree does not equate with cultural knowledge. Cultural knowledge does not equate with nationality/citizenship. Nationality/citizenship does not equate with blood degree, etc.) 

5) Cherokee Culture: Beyond Artifacts and Performances: An exploration of what the expectations are from mainstream society, the marketplace, and even ourselves that may often constrain us in what we present as Cherokee "culture." 

6) Historic and Contemporary Cherokee Communities: An introduction to the fluid existence of Cherokee communities and the ways in which federal policies and initiatives, especially the allotment, have often impacted communities, families, and the structure of our society. 

7) Historic and Contemporary Cherokee Social Institutions: An introduction to a historically strong aspect of the Cherokees' republican style of government -- its social institutions (public schools, asylums, courts, prisons, health systems, etc.), and an examination of what these institutions are in the present day.

8) Forms and Principles of Cherokee Government: this outlines the development of Cherokee government from a decentralized town system, through the republic of the 1800s, to the 1999 constitutional convention. It focuses on questions of contemporary concern, many of which were debated at that convention.

9) Cherokee Heritage and Citizenship: this examines the differences between having an ethnic heritage and being a political citizen of a government. It serves to enhance the understanding of being Cherokee as a right and a responsibility – more than a “heritage,” it is also a legacy of government that is entrusted to us by ancestors and that we will entrust to the future.

10) Contemporary Cherokee Sovereignty: this module examines what “sovereignty” means for the Cherokee Nation in contemporary times, not only as a governmental challenge, but also an economic and social challenge. It asks participants to conceive of what sovereignty could look like in the future. 

Sponsored by the Cherokee PINS Project Foundation and Star University. 

Community course cost $50

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Hosted by Dr. Julia Coates, Tribal Council Member for the Cherokee Nation. The course will be conducted virtually for 10 weeks. Guest speakers will be from the Cherokee Nation, as well as community leaders and scholars. 

For more questions please contact us at:

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