ROSE, OK – “Dennis Sixkiller: Speaking Life Into Language” is open now through Sept. 24 at the Saline Courthouse Museum. As a first-language Cherokee speaker, Dennis Sixkiller has devoted his life and work to preserving and promoting the Cherokee language.
“The impact Dennis has had on the preservation of the Cherokee language is immeasurable,” said Karen Shade-Lanier, Exhibits Manager for Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “As the number of Cherokee speakers fell with the aging of a generation, his work served as a thread celebrating and connecting our first-language speakers with each other, as well as new language speakers. Just like the language itself, Dennis represents a special connection to Cherokee culture.”
The exhibit offers details of Sixkiller’s journey to becoming the host of “Cherokee Voices, Cherokee Sounds,” the tribe’s long-running weekly radio show broadcast on area radio stations throughout Cherokee Nation’s reservation and online. The program first aired in 2004 offering music, interviews, news and more in the Cherokee language. The exhibit also explores Sixkiller’s work as a Cherokee language translator and teacher, his ministry, and his love of the traditional Cherokee game of marbles.
The Saline Courthouse is the last of nine district courthouses built in the 1800’s by the Cherokee Nation. After years of ongoing work to restore, preserve and modernize the structure, Cherokee Nation reopened the site in August 2020 as a cultural museum. The museum features historical and cultural exhibits relevant to the area and showcases different Cherokee artists throughout the year. It is located at 55870 S. 490 Rd. in Rose, OK.