Sequoyah schools teachers present at national symposium

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Tahlequah, Oklahoma (CNC) 10-07

Carey writing Cherokee syllabary

Two Sequoyah Schools teachers were selected to share their wisdom on Cherokee culture at a national Native American Symposium. Jimmy Carey and Gloria Matthews presented a lecture titled, Cherokee Language, Culture, Food and Medicine – A Quick Course, at the Seventh Native American Symposium, November 1-2, at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

“I am always delighted to have the opportunity to talk about my tribe,” Matthews said. “Even though everyone has heard of the Cherokee, I have found that most people really know very little about us. I like to talk about everyday life, clothing, food, healing, marriage, children, and I tell stories. I want my audience to know that we are more than the Trail of Tears and casinos.”

Matthews has taught at Sequoyah for sixteen years. She currently teaches Cherokee history, Native American history and humanities. She is the faculty sponsor of the school’s Honoring Our Peoples Existence (H.O.P.E.) club. The H.O.P.E. club makes presentations to other schools and groups about Native American traditions and cultures.

Carey has taught at Sequoyah for 7 years. He currently teaches Cherokee language classes and sponsors the school’s Cherokee choir. Carey plans to talk about the Cherokee language and Cherokee medicine at the Symposium.

“I’m going to tell about the development of the Cherokee syllabary and tell about how Sequoyah developed it,” Carey said.

Both Matthews and Carey are citizens of the Cherokee Nation and are often called upon to do this type of presentation. They have made this presentation and ones like it at numerous events and symposiums and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Since being invited to present at the Seventh Native American Symposium in Durant, they have already been invited to make the same presentation at other locations.

“We make a good team,” Matthews said. “We’ve developed some pretty interesting handouts.”

For more information on the Seventh Native American Symposium contact Dr. Mark Spencer at Southeastern Oklahoma State University by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To request a Native American presentation by Sequoyah Schools staff or H.O.P.E. club contact Matthews at (918) 453-5400 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sequoyah Schools, a boarding school for Native American students located near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, originated in 1871 as an orphan asylum to take care of many orphans who came out of the Civil War. Now, it is known as Sequoyah Schools, named for Sequoyah, a scholar who developed the Cherokee syllabary. In November 1985, the Cherokee Nation assumed the operation of Sequoyah. It is regionally and state accredited for grades 7-12 and has become the school of choice for more than 400 high school students every year.

For more information call (918) 453-5400.