This is a response to the article by Will Chavez in the June 2009 issue of the Phoenix: Immersion children should not suffer from Politics.
With all due respect to all parties in this controversy.
It is my understanding that the Cherokee People are trying to reclaim their language with the immersion school. That claim should only be reserved to those who are federally recognized as Cherokee citizens. If non federally recognized folks wish to learn the language, let them learn it from other citizen Cherokees they know, not as a small child in our immersion school.
Children do not loose friends because they are or are not in a class room.
Money has nothing to do with it, however, spending money on non Citizens doesn't make good economic sense. It is our language and culture that is to be preserved. Let us preserve it, not non recognized Cherokee citizens.
Today, 3/4 of the U.S. population claims to be Cherokee! So where do we draw the line? Friends or anyone who claims to be Cherokee? It may not be the best distinction, however, federally recognized is at least a beginning.
Thank you Cara Cowan Watts for guarding our cultural heritage.