I began working on the "Gadugi" Cherokee Language Coloring Book as a way to teach my daughter our ancestral language. I am a citizen of Cherokee Nation that lives in Edmonds, Wa which is over 2000 miles from our Reservation and even farther from our ancestral lands in the Southeast. One of the issues regarding language preservation is access to learning materials. When I began sharing the images with other language learners as well as the children at my daughter's school in Shoreline, there was an instant joyful and awesome enthusiasm to color and chat about how our language interconnects with our plant and animal ancestors. It provides not only a language lesson but an insight into our indigenous cultural understanding of the earth. I have a few more pages to go and would love to publish and distribute! The word "Gadugi" means something akin to working together and sharing for the greater good. It is central to Cherokee language and spiritual and cultural beliefs. Many of our words have multiple meanings which I show in the drawings and are associated with traditional stories. If possible, I would add a story page on the opposite side of each coloring page to deepen the meanings.
Financé par Seattle, WA (August 2023)