Myrtle Driver Johnson

Myrtle Driver Johnson
Born (1944-05-21) May 21, 1944 (age 75)
Known forCherokee language translation and revitalization

Myrtle Driver Johnson (born May 21, 1944)[1] is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and a native Cherokee language[a] speaker.[3] As of July 2019 she was one of only 211 remaining Cherokee speakers in the EBCI.[4] In 2007 she was given the title of Beloved Woman[1] by her tribe for her work translating into the endangered Cherokee language.

Language work

Johnson serves as the EBCI Tribal Council translator and has translated for the EBCI bilingual immersion school, New Kituwah Academy (NKA), since about 2006.[1] For NKA, she translated Charlotte's Web, the first time the book had been translated into an indigenous American language.[5] Johnson also translated Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons, a novel loosely based on the life of William Holland Thomas that depicts the sociopolitical events surrounding the Cherokee removal. The novel was published by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian press.[5][6] She narrated her translation of Thirteen Moons for the audio book and also narrated Tsogadu Nvdo, a Cherokee language audio book.[6]

Johnson has been active with language and culture camps for children and speakers gatherings for adults.[3] She has also participated in the quarterly Cherokee Language Consortium, a gathering of the three federally recognized tribes[b] to standardize new terms in Cherokee.[1][3]

Other Languages