There are three federally recognized Tribes of Cherokee — Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — with more than 430,000 citizens among them. However, fewer than 1,500 citizens speak the Cherokee language fluently. ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak) examines the language’s crucial role in maintaining cultural identity and aims to offer empowerment to Indigenous voices.
This award-winning documentary was filmed around North Carolina and Oklahoma, diving deep into interviews, archival materials, and community gatherings to capture the efforts of the activists, artists, and educators working to save the language.
You can catch a screening of ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak) on Monday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at Mars Hill University and on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library. Both screenings are free and will feature a Q+A with the filmmakers.
Bonus: If you want to continue an exploration of the Cherokee language after you’ve seen the film, you can take a course for free with your Buncobme County library card.