Sequoyah's Talking Leaves

Event Details

Date: September 07, 2014

Time: 02:00 pm to 03:00 pm

Location: Helmerich Center, Susan B. and Robert W. Jackson Seminar Room

Cost: $0.00

Contact: Gilcrease Museum 918-596-2700


Part of the Helmerich Center Opening Weekend Celebration

John Ross, who works in the Translation Department, Education Services for the Cherokee Nation, will discuss the Cherokee Syllabary. He will discuss how Sequoyah decided to create the Syllabary in 1809, despite the skepticism of his wife and the Cherokee people. After 12 years, Sequoyah completed the Syllabary in 1821, making the Cherokee Nation literate overnight. The Cherokee Nation embraced his written language and published the first Indian newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, in both Cherokee and English. After the removal to Indian Territory, the Cherokee Nation continued publishing The Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in Oklahoma. In the 1960s, new interest in the Cherokee language emerged, such as developing a typewriter and creating fonts for computers in the 1990s. Recently, the Cherokee Nation established a Translation Department in Education Services, which translated more than 500,000 words and phrases in four years for Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Free and open to the public.

View the full schedule of opening weekend events.


Registering for this event helps us to gauge how many people will be coming and plan accordingly so everyone can enjoy visiting Gilcrease. No tickets are needed. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.