Giving the Gift of Language - 7th Annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair
January 29, 2009

Native American Languages:

7th Annual Oklahoma Native American

Youth Language Fair

The 2009 fair will take place April 6th (Pre-K - 5th grades)

and April 7th (6th - 12th grades).


The theme for the 2009 fair is "Giving the Gift of Language".


There are three MAJOR CHANGES for the 2009 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair:

  • Due to funding considerations, the ONAYLF WILL NOT PROVIDE LUNCHES TO STUDENTS OR CHAPERONES. You may bring lunches but these must be brought into the museum in closed containers and be eaten only in designated areas (to be announced that day) or at the outdoor tables in front of the museum.


  • We will have a parade of students at the opening ceremony on Day 1 (Pre-K through 5th Grades). We ask that students bring a flag, a small banner, or make a poster identifying their school/tribe/club/organization which one student representative will carry into the Great Hall at the ONAYLF Opening Ceremonies. This event will take the place of an opening speaker on Day 1.
  • Significant changes have been made to contest categories! Be sure to read the category descriptions thoroughly. Full descriptions of all categories can be downloaded from the link on the right-hand side of this web page.


The registration deadline for the 2009 ONAYLF is March 9th. By this date, fair officials need to have all registration forms (which can be downloaded from this page) as well as all posters, books, films/videos, essays, and Power Point® slideshows. To have copies of our registration forms sent by mail, participants may contact the Native American Languages department at (405) 325-7588/(405) 325-3332, or send an email request. Check-in on April 6th and 7th will begin at 8:30 a.m., and Opening Ceremonies will begin at 9:00 a.m. We estimate that events will be concluded by approximately 3:00 p.m. on both days.

Students of Native American languages from grades ranging from preschool to high school are invited to enter the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Students can compete in ten categories: Individual Spoken Language, Group Spoken Language, Individual Language Performance with Music or Dance, Language Masters Performance, Native Language Book, Language Advocacy Essay, Native Language Poster Art, Language Film and Video, and Language Presentation with Power Point®.

Native artists, elders, authors, and language teachers from several different tribes will judge the various categories. Strict accuracy in the language is not essential. Instead, the students' performances are evaluated on how much Native language is used, the spirit of the performance itself, and the effort behind the performance. Books, essays, posters, and film/video entries are judged prior to the fair, and the winners in each of these categories are displayed during the fair.

This annual statewide competition has drawn more than 1,000 participants, who compete in as many as 27 Native American languages. The top three winners in each category in every age group will receive a trophy that can be displayed in their school or tribal center. In addition, every student participating will receive a 2009 ONAYLF T-shirt. All students are winners when they speak their Native languages!


If you have questions or concerns, or require further information, please contact the 2009 Language Fair Coordinator, Candessa Tehee Morgan, by telephone at (405) 325-7588 or by email.