Language Department


Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program

ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏓᏂᎳᎨᎢ, the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, is dedicated to creating new Cherokee language teachers through methodologies designed to honor and perpetuate the Cherokee culture and language, in order to develop intergeneration language growth. The Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program (CLMAP) is an adult Cherokee language immersion program for novice learners who are paired with master-level fluent Cherokee speakers.

Language apprentices participate in a Cherokee language immersion environment Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm and receive an educational cash benefit as a part of this 40/hour a week program. The number of applicants selected is based on program availability.

The program is a full-time, two year commitment. Upon completion, participants are expected to be, at minimum, conversational in Cherokee in the intermediate mid category, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages standards.

Interested individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • Possess a strong desire to aid in the perpetuation of the Cherokee language and culture, through teaching
  • Available Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Pass a youth sensitive background check
  • 80% Manitory Attendance
  • Fall 2024 CLMAP cohort will give special preference for early childhood educators and those that want to work towards early childhood education.

Apply Online


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the program available online?

CLMAP is located in Tahlequah, OK. Though CLMAP is not available online, multiple online Cherokee language opportunities are available. For more information on online Cherokee learning, visit www.language.cherokee.org

How can I apply to the program?


  1. Apply online
  2. Download the application and email to don-dugger@cherokee.org
  3. It is NOT recommended to mail applications

How often do classes begin?

New cohorts are accepted into CLMAP twice a year, one spring cohort (March 1) and one fall cohort (September 1).

What is the class size?

Typically, each cohort is made up of eight learners with a teaching team of three.

How does CLMAP interact with the community?

CLMAP practices a holistic approach to adult language acquisition through language and culture emmersion. As often as possible, CLMAP participates in community events through social and volunteer opportunities.

Can I work while I’m in CLMAP?

It is not recommended that program participants work or engage in other educational pursuits while in CLMAP.  

What is an educational cash benefit?

Program participants receive a biweekly educational cash benefit to offset living expenses while in the program. Currently, participants receive $10.00/hour. This amount is subject to change.