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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Language Fair Has Drama In Norman
by Tami Althoff -
credits: photos by Jaconna Aguirre, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Most of the audience couldn’t understand the language, but they certainly knew what was going on Tuesday when Cushing High School students presented "Sauc Pre-K in 2011” at the seventh annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Despite the language barrier, the content of the skit was universal.

"It was about stuff that would normally happen in a pre-K class,” Sydney Gabbard, a Cushing High School senior, said. "The language we were speaking was Sauc.”

The students, members of the Native American Student Association, took first place in the spoken word category.

Gabbard said the weeks of preparation were worth it. "It’s fun,” she said. "It’s a chance to compete and learn more about our language.”

Carly Williams, a junior from New Lima, participated in the fair for the first time this year.

Her group also competed in the spoken word category, singing the Muscogee (Creek) alphabet in their native language.

More than 500 participants, in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, attended the language fair Monday and Tuesday at the museum. Coming from Oklahoma and other states, they competed in categories such as spoken word, dance, music, film and essay.

The event is the largest American Indian youth language fair in the country, featuring an estimated 24 languages.

Candessa Tehee Morgan, coordinator of the fair, said the event gives students a chance to learn and practice their native language.

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