http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgThe Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School kindergarten class sings “I’ll Fly Away” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Song category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School kindergarten class sings “I’ll Fly Away” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Song category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokees win awards at Native language fair

The Cherokee Language Immersion School kindergarten receives its participation medals for singing “I’ll Fly Away” the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Song category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School first grade sings “God’s Children” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won third place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Song category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School’s second grade perform “Why the Possum’s Tail is Bare” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Spoken Language category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School’s third graders perform “The Little Red Hen” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won third place in the Third to Fifth Grade Large Group Spoken Language category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School’s third graders perform “The Little Red Hen” at the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won third place in the Third to Fifth Grade Large Group Spoken Language category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Cherokee Language Immersion School kindergarten receives its participation medals for singing “I’ll Fly Away” the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The class won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Song category. TRAVIS SNELL/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
04/10/2013 12:24 PM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
NORMAN, Okla. – Students representing the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Immersion School, Sequoyah Schools and Rocky Mountain Elementary brought home nine awards from the 11th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 1-2 at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

The immersion school’s second grade won first place in the Pre-kindergarten to Second Grade Large Group Spoken Language category with its tale of “Why the Possum’s Tail is Bare.” Logan Oosahwe-Dushane, also of the immersion school, took first place in the Pre-k to Second Grade Large Group Individual Song category with his rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

The immersion school’s kindergarten class won the Pre-k to Second Grade Large Group Song category by singing “I’ll Fly Away.”

Immersion school kindergarten teacher Denise Chaudoin said the 2013 language fair was her fourth time to have a class compete. She said she taught second grade the three previous years and that the school always performed well at the event.

“Every group that I’ve had we’ve either come in first or second, and I think most of the others have done first, second or third. I see other people wining, too, but I don’t believe any of our kids have ever come home without some kind of award,” Chaudoin said. She added that the language fair is good for the children because it displays their language and gives them confidence to perform in front of an audience. (2:30) “They have sung it with me and without me,” she said of her kindergarten students. “They could have sung it today without me. I just kind of mouth the words and keep the beat, but they know the song. They can sing it by themselves.”

Taking third place in the Pre-K to Second Grade Large Group Song category was the immersion school’s first grade with its song “God’s Children.”

The immersion school’s third graders took home third place in the Third to Fifth Grade Large Group Spoken Language category with its story “The Little Red Hen,” while students from Rocky Mountain Elementary in Adair County placed third in the Third to Fifth Grade Large Group Song category for singing “Jesus My All.”

The immersion school’s sixth grade won first place in the Sixth to Eighth Grade Large Group Song category with its song “Sequoyah,” while its seventh and eighth graders won second place with their version of “Lean On Me.” Also, Sequoyah Schools’ high school choir took second place for its rendition of “ Celebrate” in the Ninth to 12th Grade Large Group Song category.

The competitions are broken down into two days. Students participate according to age, group size (individual, small or large) and in two types of categories – performance and non-performance.

The performance categories include Spoken Language Performance, Song in Native Language, Language Masters Performance and Spoken Language with PowerPoint, while the non-performance categories include Poetry Writing and Performance, Poster Art, Book and Literature and Cartoon and Comic Book.

Christine Armer, Sam Noble Museum Native American youth language coordinator and OU Cherokee language instructor, said she’s been with the fair for all 11 years – eight as a judge and three as a coordinator. She said in her time with the event, she’s seen it grow from 126 students the first year to 921 students in 2013.

Armer said the 900-plus students this year contributed 446 performances or submissions in 45 different Native languages.

“It’s more than we’ve had before. It seems like it’s growing every year,” she said. 2:29 “I think that a lot of our tribes have realized that their language is dying. I think it started back when bilingual programs started. I think people started realizing how the language was going away…and I think that’s the reason that they decided the language should go on.”

According to its website, the language fair honors the students of Native languages and their teachers by giving them an opportunity to publicly present their respective languages. It also celebrates language diversity in Oklahoma and the United States, as well as involves the University of Oklahoma, tribal communities, families and language fair volunteers.

Dr. Mary Linn, curator for Native American languages at the museum, said the fair began with three objectives after she was hired as curator.

“One of them was to show that Native languages are still living and they’re not just put into a museum and forgotten about. So I really wanted to show that children were acquiring the languages, they were learning the languages, and that they were a vital part of everyday life in the communities,” she said. “I also wanted to honor the teachers who I had been working with for many years through teacher-training programs, and I knew they were working without very much curriculum, without very much support, sometimes no monetary support at all, paying for all their own materials. So I really wanted to honor them for trying to teach the languages under theses circumstances. And then also the students to really give them support and boost and try to make them feel that there were other kids out there, maybe in other tribes, but that there were other kids out there that were doing the same things that they were doing.”

travis-snell@cherokee.org


918-453-5358

About the Author
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, switching his focus from writing to story development, editing, design and other duties.

He is a member of NAJA, as well as the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and Society for News Design.

Travis earned his journalism degree with a print emphasis in 1999 from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he served as editor, assistant editor and sports reporter for the school’s newspaper.

He is married to Native Oklahoma publisher Lisa Snell. The couple has two children, Sadie and Swimmer. He is the grandson of original enrollee Swimmer Wesley Snell and Patricia Ann (Roberts) Snell.
TRAVIS-SNELL@cherokee.org • 918-453-5358
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, switching his focus from writing to story development, editing, design and other duties. He is a member of NAJA, as well as the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and Society for News Design. Travis earned his journalism degree with a print emphasis in 1999 from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he served as editor, assistant editor and sports reporter for the school’s newspaper. He is married to Native Oklahoma publisher Lisa Snell. The couple has two children, Sadie and Swimmer. He is the grandson of original enrollee Swimmer Wesley Snell and Patricia Ann (Roberts) Snell.

Education

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
02/13/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH (AP) – Projects ranging from lizard analysis to recyclable materials, and even a tin can telephone, took center stage at Northeastern State University on Feb. 1 for the 12th annual Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair. The fair was open to all tribal citizens – in and outside of the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction – from grades 5-12. The rules follow International Sustainable World Project Energy Engineering Environment Project Olympiad guidelines. “It’s got the whole kind of green theme to it,” said Daniel Faddis, school community specialist. “There’s whole long list of subcategories. Robotics is a category, reuse and recycle is a category, water quality is a category, and so is noise pollution.” Participants could choose to work on projects as individuals or in pairs. Faddis said team projects are graded on stiffer criteria, with more ways to lose points than individuals. “Obviously, if you have two kids working on it, you would expect it to be better than one,” he said. “So the way ISWEEEP sets it up, there’s a whole other set of categories that the teamwork has to meet.” Caitlyn Luttrell, eighth grader from Westville, centered her project on paper domes. “It’s basically about the structural integrity of different types of paper to use for these domes,” said Luttrell. “I made two different type of domes: a construction paper one and a notebook paper one. I was trying to see which one was stronger and by how much it was stronger. The construction paper dome held 170 percent of its own weight and the notebook paper held 146 percent of its own weight.” Luttrell’s hypothesis was correct in that the construction paper would hold more weight, even though it costs less to purchase. The young science enthusiast’s the project took several hours to accomplish over the course of a few days, but Luttrell said she didn’t mind because the science fair is something she has come to enjoy. “Last year, it was introduced to me and I got pretty interested in it,” she said. “Now, I’m going to be doing it probably until I graduate. I really enjoy this a lot.” More and more jobs are becoming available for those who work in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – and Faddis said the younger students can get involved, the better. “STEM is the evolution of the future,” said Faddis. “Everything you see and every different discipline is focusing around STEM. So it’s really good for them to learn the proper, academic scientific method. And it’s good prep for college research, because they’re going to have to do it when they get to graduate school and undergraduate school.” Not all of the projects at the fair came without a trial-and-error phase. Breeze Ward, sixth grader from Rose, was among that group. “I wanted to see if I could blow up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar, and it can,” said Ward. “It was kind of messy. The first time I made it, it exploded on me. I think I added too much baking soda.” The overall high school winner was Kevin Guthrie, of Westville High School. Guthrie also won the High School Engineering division, as well as the “Live an Honest Day” Paul Bickford Memorial Award, which comes with a $1,000 scholarship to Rogers State University. Keysha Kendall, Westville, won the High School Environmental division. The middle school Outstanding Scientist Award went to Crystal Maggard, of Westville, and Hayden Faddis, also of Westville, won the Energy division. Leach School students Neveah Zuniga and Zylee Ward won the Middle School Engineering division and Environmental division, respectively. “The Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair is a great opportunity for students to learn about the fields of science, technology, engineering and math while they also interact and network with their peers and professionals,” said Ron Etheridge, Education Services deputy executive director. “This is a healthy challenge that engages Cherokee students, and I’m positive those who participate could one day use the skills they learn to give back to the Cherokee Nation.”
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/13/2018 10:00 AM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Each summer the Sequoyah National Research Center hosts three tribally affiliated student interns for June and July. Interns are required to work a minimum of 25 hours per week in the center doing basic archival and research work under the direction of SNRC staff. The SNRC at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock houses the papers and special collections of tribal individuals and organizations and holds the world’s largest archival collection of newspapers and other periodicals published by tribal individuals and organizations. The goal of the American Indian Student Internship Program is to provide students an experiential learning environment in which to acquire an understanding of the value of archives and the research potential of the collections of the center and to engage in academic research and practical database building activities related to tribal culture, society and issues. Interns are expected to demonstrate the value of their experience by either a summary report of work, finding aids for collections or reports of research or other written work that may be shared with their home institutions. To qualify for an internship students must be tribally affiliated, have completed at least 60 college hours and be in good standing at their home institutions of higher learning. Applications should include a unofficial copy of the student’s academic transcript, a recommendation letter from the head of the student’s major department or from another relevant academic official and a statement of at least 250 words expressing why the intern experience would likely be beneficial to the student’s academic or career goals. To assist the student in meeting expenses during the two-month tenure of the internship, SNRC will provide on-campus housing and $2,000 to defray other living expenses. Students interested in applying should send applications or inquiries by email to Daniel F. Littlefield or Erin Fehr at Sequoyah@ualr.edu. The SNRC must receive applications by March 15. SNRC staff will select three applicants and three alternates. Staff will notify students of their decision by April 3. For information regarding UALR and its guest housing facilities, visit <a href="http://www.ualr.edu/housing" target="_blank">www.ualr.edu/housing</a>. For information on the SNRC and its work, visit <a href="http://www.ualr.edu/sequoyah" target="_blank">ualr.edu/sequoyah</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/09/2018 03:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – GateHouse Media has launched its first ever-national scholarship competition for college-bound students. In order to participate, students must select one of four words - impact, trusted, community or local - and submit an essay of up to 500 words describing what the word means to them. The competition will award five $1,000 scholarships and one $3,000 grand prize scholarship. According to Alain Begun, vice president of marketing, the contest grew out of the company’s national branding campaign, which focuses on the role that GateHouse journalists play and the service they provide in local markets across the country. “Each ad in that campaign revolves around one of the key words that describe what we do and how we feel about our role in the community. We thought it would be a great way to give back to students in the communities we serve by creating a scholarship competition,” he said. “And tying it into our brand campaign was a way to hear from students about what those words, which are so important to our journalists, mean to them.” Deadline for essay submissions is Feb. 16. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.GateHouseScholarship.com" target="_blank">GateHouseScholarship.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/08/2018 12:00 PM
TULSA – The Cherokee Nation is accepting grant applications for its spring education tours. The sponsored tours provide an exclusive look at the Nation’s rich history and culture. Applications will be accepted Feb. 5 through March 23. Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism awards the grants in the spring and fall to elementary public schools within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction. Complimentary curriculum is provided to schools that receive the grant and is available to teachers upon registration. Curriculum includes a teacher’s guide to prepare students for the education tour as well as a student activity. The tour options are: • Cherokee History consisting of Tahlequah’s historic Capitol Square and Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, Cherokee National Prison Museum, Murrell Home, Cherokee Heritage Center and ancient Cherokee village, Diligwa. • Will Rogers consisting of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Dog Iron Ranch. • Civil War consisting of Tahlequah’s historic Capitol Square, Murrell Home and Fort Gibson Historic Site. Grants are available for grades third through sixth and funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Minimum requirements for eligibility for schools include being located within the Nation’s jurisdiction, a majority of the school’s students must hold Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood cards, the school’s class size may not exceed tour capacity and the majority of the school’s students must be eligible for free and/or reduced school lunches. Schools that do not meet the requirements or miss the deadline may experience the program for a small fee. Special rates are available for seventh through 12th grade and college students. Applications are available at <a href="http://www.VisitCherokeeNation.com" target="_blank">www.VisitCherokeeNation.com</a>. For more information or to book a tour, call 918-384-7787.
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/02/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH — Registration is open for the Cherokee Nation Foundation’s spring ACT prep classes in Fort Gibson and Sallisaw. The six-week course is offered to juniors and seniors. The program is offered for free to citizens of any federally recognized tribe and costs $150 for non-Native students. Preference is given to Cherokee Nation citizens. Classes begin in late February and conclude with students taking the ACT exam on April 14. A practice test is available on Feb. 24 for students who have not previously taken an ACT test to establish a base score. Curriculum includes interactive instruction by a Princeton Review instructor and two practice tests. In previous years, students have increased their scores by an average of 3.5 points, and some individual scores have increased by as much as 10 points. The Fort Gibson classes are Monday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fort Gibson High School Library located at 500 S. Ross St. A pre-test is from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 24. A mid-test is from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on March 17. Class dates are Feb. 19, March 5, March 12, March 26, April 2 and April 9. The Sallisaw classes are Tuesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.?at Carl Albert State College in the Sallisaw Campus?Back building, Room 8127 located at?1601 S. Opdyke St. A pre-test is from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 24. A mid-test is from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on March 17. Class dates are Feb. 27, March 6, March 13, March 27, April 3 and April 10. No classes will be held during Spring Break. Applications are available at <a href="http://www.cherokeenationfoundation.org" target="_blank">www.cherokeenationfoundation.org</a>. Students may also pick up registration forms from their high school guidance counselors or call 918-207-0950. The deadline to enroll is Feb. 21.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/24/2018 12:00 PM
LONGMONT, Colo. – First Nations Development Institute on Jan. 23 launched a request for proposals for its newest effort, the Native Language Immersion Initiative. First Nations will award about 12 grants of up to $90,000 each to build the capacity of and directly support Native language-immersion and culture-retention programs. This request for proposals is for the first year of a three-year initiative. Similar requests will be conducted in each of the next two years. Under the NLII, First Nations is seeking to build a dialogue and a community of practice around Native language-immersion programs and consensus on and momentum for Native language programs. The effort is made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lannan Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation and the NoVo Foundation. The initiative includes American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian language programs. The full request for proposal can be found at <a href="https://firstnations.org/grantmaking/2018NLII" target="_blank">https://firstnations.org/grantmaking/2018NLII</a>. It contains information on eligibility, application process, grant requirements, selection criteria, allowable activities and more. The application deadline is March 23. Eligibility is limited to U.S.-based tribal government programs, tribal 7871 entities, Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and Native-controlled community organizations with a fiscal sponsor. There are currently about 150 Native languages spoken in the U.S., many of them spoken only by a small number of elders. Without intervention many of these languages are expected to become extinct within the next 50 to 100 years, which means a significant loss of cultural heritage. These grants can support curriculum development, technology access and recruitment and training of teachers. Language retention and revitalization programs have been recognized as providing key benefits to Native American communities by boosting educational achievement and student retention rates. They also support community identity, Native systems of kinship, and management of community, cultural and natural resources. Through this initiative, First Nations seeks to stem the loss of Indigenous languages and cultures by supporting new generations of Native American language speakers, and establishing infrastructure and models for Native language-immersion programs that may be replicated in other communities.