Cherokee Immersion Charter School fourth-grade class won first
place for singing Eternal Sabbath, which is a
traditional Cherokee song brought from North Carolina. Shown
are students Isabella Sierra, Ahnawake McCoy, Logan Oosahwe,
Maleah Bird, Isaiah Walema and Jenna Dunn with Cherokee teacher
Meda Nix. (courtesy photo)
NORMAN, OK Cherokee Immersion Charter School students recently
took home 18 trophies during the 14th annual Oklahoma Native Youth
Language Fair for their use of the Cherokee language in verbal outlets.
The students competed in spoken language, modern and traditional
song, spoken prayer, spoken poetry, short film and a poster contest.
The Native American Language department at the University of Oklahomas
Sam Noble Museum hosted the competition that celebrates the use
of Native languages in traditional and modern ways.
According to a CN press release, the school won nine first-place
trophies, six second-place trophies and three third-place trophies.
Every day our students are in the classroom learning to speak,
read and write the same language as their ancestors so that we ensure
it carries on, Immersion School Principal Holly Davis said.
This competition allows our students to show the public their
language proficiency and the pride in their culture, so we are excited
to participate each year.
Dan Swan, interim curator for Native American Languages at the
Sam Noble Museum, said this year they had 1,100 students compete.
He added that it was the largest number of students to compete in
the Native language competition so far.
Swan said the two-day event also set a record high with nearly
3,400 people in attendance.
There were dozens of languages represented, and the fair
has become a key part of our identity in the Native community,
said Swan. The fair has a huge support base, from financial
sponsors to all the judges who come from tribal communities, and
who are speakers, that work with us for months to make it happen.