NORMAN – Students from Chickasaw youth language classes took home three first-place awards, two second-place awards and honorable mentions during the 2019 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.
Their winning language skills were displayed April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman with a short play, a prayer, a hymn and a unique cultural skit.
The entire Chipota Chikashshanompoli (Children Speaking Chickasaw Language Club) group took first in the traditional song category with Hymn 184.
Josie Morgan, Sophie Mater, Evie Riden, Brenlee Underwood and Gabrielle Nucosee from Chipota Chikashshanompoli earned first place in the sixth-to eighth-grade skit or short play performance category with a rendition of the “Three Little Pigs.”
Also in first was Natalie Hilton, winning in the individual spoken prayer category.
In ninth-12th grade, Evie Riden, Hazel Abelli, Natalie Hilton, August Ficht and Melanie Ficht performed a karate skit, gaining second place.
The Chickasaw Children’s Village, based out of Kingston, placed second in the skit or short play category. Ramona Fox produced their cultural skit called “Hofanti” (Thrive).
Mya Cryer from the children’s village and Elsa Munoz from the language class were recognized for their posters.
Hundreds of students of Native languages from Oklahoma and other states gathered for the fair. Participants took to the stage in live presentations of song, speech and story. Students’ poster art, films, books, cartoons and writing were also on display.
Chickasaw students joined Choctaws (Chahta), Kiowas, Shawnees, Pawnees, Creeks (Mvskoke), Comanches, Lakotas, Seminoles and other Nations in sharing and celebrating their culture at the event.
The Chickasaw Nation offers many convenient learning opportunities for students of all ages looking to brush up on their linguistic skills in Chikashshanompa’ (the Chickasaw language).
A self-teaching portal and workbook can be found online at www.Chickasaw.net/Anompa/index.html. There, the language is taught in recorded pronunciations grouped by themes and purpose. Greetings, food, animals and technology are some of the lessons.
A collaboration between the Chickasaw Nation and Rosetta Stone, the world’s leading language-learning software company, offers interactive language lessons for speakers of all levels. Users can access Rosetta Stone Chickasaw, a cloud-based program, through a computer or mobile app for Android/Apple devices. Rosetta Stone Chickasaw is now available at no cost to Chickasaw citizens. Chickasaw Nation employees and the general public may purchase the app. For more information, visit Chickasaw.net/RosettaStone.
Chickasaw community language classes — open to the public at no charge — meet once a week in Ada, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Purcell, Sulphur and Tishomingo. Contact the language department at (580) 436-7272 for more information.