New Cayuga language class focuses on nature, culture

ITHACA, N.Y.-For the first time in Cornell University's 154-year history, students have been able to take a class to learn the language of the Cayuga Nation, whose traditional territory is now home to Cornell's Ithaca campus.

The launch of the class in Fall 2019 coincided with the United Nations' declaration that 2019 was the Year of Indigenous Languages. Stephen Henhawk, a Cayuga speaker and historian, teaches the hands-on class, which focuses on the relationship of language and culture to plants and growing.

"A lot of our language is connected to nature, so many of the lessons will revolve a...