Chipota Chikashashanompoli, Ada student, and several Byng students received honors at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair, Language in My Heart, held April 1 and 2 at the Sam Noble Museum.
The competition drew 921 participants in grades pre-K through 12 from across Oklahoma and other states. Students competed with 446 total performances of spoken language; language with song, poetry, poster art, book, language advocacy essay; and multimedia categories.
The Ada group took first place in the ninth- through 12th-grade Large Group Song category with their performance of Amiboo (My Girl) in the Chickasaw language.
The Byng Native Voices group, Chickasaw, took first place in sixth- through eighth-grade large group spoken language. Ezra Johnson, Chickasaw, took third place in ninth- through 12th-grade individual spoken language. Darin Allison, Chickasaw, took second place in third- through fifth-grade poster category, followed by Johnathon Delfrate, Chickasaw, in third place.
Panels of Native American elders, teachers, artists and authors from many different tribes judged the competitions. At this year’s event, students competed in 45 different Native American languages, an all-time high for the fair. There were 63 different language programs and family groups represented, and total attendance for the two days of competition reached more than 2,000.
The presenting sponsors for the 2013 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair included the Cyril Fund and the Sam Noble Museum. Application materials and information for the 2014 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair will be available through the museum’s Native American Languages department in January 2014.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is located on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus at Timberdell Road and Chautauqua Avenue.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 65 and up, and $3 for youth ages 6 to 17. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. Discounts are available for military personnel and their immediate families. Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4712 or at www.snomnh.ou.edu.