The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma are taking an opportunity to educate and preserve their cultural heritage via the airways.
The Tribes were awarded a grant from the United States Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration under the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. The grant will enable the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes to assemble a digital low-power television station in Concho, Okla. and serve approximately 39,000 people. Construction will begin in 2011 and the station is expected begin broadcasting in that year or early 2012.
“This educational television station will enhance efforts to promote education and preserve the history, language and culture of our tribes,” said Janice Prairie Chief Boswell, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes governor. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop an educational system that will strengthen the vision of the tribes.”
“The preservation of our tribal languages has been challenging to say the least and to have the opportunity to use this form of mass communication to not only educate tribal members but residents of Western Oklahoma on Cheyenne and Arapaho culture and history is long overdue.”
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Department of Education and its media production studio were instrumental in obtaining the grant.
Billy Williamson, media production manager, says “Most recognize that new language has emerged in the world, one that has grown to reach all nations with equal effect and understanding. . . . “It is the language of mass communications – and mass media has become the second language of our children.”
For more information on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, visit http://www.c-a-tribes.org.