It has been greatly debated whether teachers should be expected to teach students cultural issues or whether this is the primary responsibility of parents. This is the question that the Cheyenne community have been debating about. Even though most parents expect teachers to instruct students concerning the Cheyenne language and culture, it is the primary responsibility of parents to impart their cultural heritage to their children. Most people agree that teachers already have a hard job teaching academics and it would not be fair to expect them to go outside the scope of their jobs. Some parents have gone to the trouble of teaching their children Cheyenne. Despite this, there are only a few people who speak the language. This has led to fears that the language may soon become extinct.
Cheyenne is a North American language that is predominantly spoken in Montana and Oklahoma in The United States. Cheyenne is one of the 5 Algonquian languages. The language has two major dialects: So’taa’e, which is spoken by one of the tribes incorporated by So’taa’e and Ts e-tsehese-staestse. Currently, Ts e-tsehese-staestse is more widely spoken and it has incorporated some So’taa’e words. Out of 11,000 Cheyennes, only 3,000 people can speak the language. Cheyenne people call themselves Tsitsista. The Cheyenne alphabet has 14 letters which can be combined to come up with very long words.
The Cheyenne people have an interesting culture. The name Cheyenne was derived from a Dakota word meaning “red talkers” or “people of alien speech.” Marriage was a formal issue that was taken seriously. A girl’s virginity was fiercely protected by her family as premarital sex was forbidden. Most marriages were monogamous, even though polygyny was allowed. Up to today, marriage between closely related individuals is not allowed. Social ideals were passed on to children through counseling and demonstration of what was required. When children misbehaved, corporal punishment was rarely administered, instead ostracism, ridicule and teasing were used. The Cheyenne believed that death was caused by physical or spiritual forces. When someone died, it was believed that their spirit traveled up the milky way to the camp of the dead. It was believed that some individuals return to the world as malevolent spirits