A Grand Prize and four first place wins were among the honors awarded to Chickasaw-speaking students at the eighth annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.

This year, there were hundreds of entries representing dozens of Native languages in the competition which was conducted April 5-6 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman.  

“We are very proud of our students,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “It is very encouraging to see these young people embracing our culture and heritage. Their performance at the fair is a testament to the effectiveness of our language programs.”

Chipota Chikashshanompoli (Children Speaking Chickasaw), the Chickasaw Nation’s language club for students aged three to 12, took first place in both the third through fifth grade Large Group Spoken Language and Large Group Music/Dance categories. 

Participating language club members were Zoe Allen, Macyee Davis, Taylor Harrison, Kelsey Morgan, AnnaMae Palmer, Johnathon DelFrate, Lauren John, Colton Wilson, Jairus Smith, Ke-Ke Factor, Reese Siegle, Christian Siegle, Darrion Barnoski, Sean Cooke, Kelly Cooke, Jolie Morgan, Sunzie Harrison, Levi Hinson, Chris Anglin, Dylan Barnoski, Kendra Smith, Jordan Stick and Chelsea Wedlow. 

Sadie Milligan’s illustration won the Grand Prize in the poster competition and her artwork will featured on next year’s tshirts.

Three Chipota Chikashshanompoli members were also recognized for their illustrated books.  Kelsey Morgan and Johnathan DelFrate placed first and second respectively in the Pre-K to second grade category and Jolie Morgan placed second in the third through fifth grade category.

Other Chickasaw student winners are listed below.

• Thirkiel Wedlow, first place in the sixth through eighth grade Individual Spoken Language category

• Me-way-se Greenwood, first place in the sixth through eighth grade Individual Music/Dance category;

• Brook, Katy, Skye and Dale Shackleford, first place in the ninth through twelfth grade Group Spoken Language Category.

• Bradley Stick, second place in the ninth through twelfth grade Individual Spoken Language category

• Sadie Milligan, second in the ninth through twelfth grade Spoken Language with PowerPoint presentation category

• Micah Hart, second place in the Film/Video category 

“Weaving Words, Connecting Lives” was the theme for the 2010 Youth Language Fair. Participants of all ages demonstrated language skills as groups or individuals in eight different categories.

For more information about the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair, visit http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/ or visit www.chickasaw.net/cca for additional information about the Chipota Chikashshanompoli language club.

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