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 STAFF REPORTS
04/28/2017 08:00 AM
TULSA, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Foundation recently hosted Tahlequah High School students at the Junior Achievement of Oklahoma’s JA Finance Park at the Tulsa Tech Peoria Campus. The interactive day provided students the opportunity to put their financial literacy skills to the test in a simulated city where each decision they make impacts their take-home pay and livelihood. “This is a wonderful extension of our partnership with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, and we are excited that our Tahlequah students were able to participate in their pilot program,” CNF Executive Director Janice Randall said. “A financial education is one of the most important things we can give our students, and we are thankful the teachers and school administrators at Tahlequah High School share that vision.” JA Finance Park is a state-of-the-art mobile facility where students live a fictional life situation, with a marital status, children, a job and a salary. They are then challenged to create and successfully use a budget and make decisions around saving, spending, investing and philanthropic giving. To achieve these tasks, students work in groups and visit 19 kiosks with interactive terminals that simulate stores, restaurants and utility companies among other real-world businesses. “Supporting financial education is a core focus of Bank of Oklahoma,” said Pat Piper, executive vice president of Consumer Banking Services for Bank of Oklahoma and state board member for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. “Financial literacy and money management skills are crucial building blocks for economic success. That’s why our employees volunteer in dozens of Junior Achievement classrooms each year through our Learn for Life program, and we invest in financial literacy programs to ensure individuals of all ages have the opportunity to be fiscally responsible and economically self-reliant.”?? Shannan Beeler, president of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, said for 50 years the event has helped students understand the short- and long-term impact of educational, financial and life-style decisions. “It also prepares students to succeed as adults by teaching them some basic, practical money-management skills, which they will need to help them prosper in life,” she said. For more information, call Randall at 918-207-0950.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/25/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Sequoyah High School administrators will host a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on May 8 in the school’s library regarding the proposed 2017-18 Title VI budget and its provided services. The proposed budget supplements students’ college and career readiness and allows for public feedback. The meeting is open to all interested stakeholders. Written comments can be submitted for up to 10 calendar days following the meeting and may be submitted either in person or by mail to Sequoyah High School, c/o Principal Jolyn Choate, PO Box 520, Tahlequah, OK 74465. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. According to the Office of Civil Rights, programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education are covered by Title VI. The school is located at 17091 S. Muskogee Ave.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/18/2017 01:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation officials donated $14,000 to Kansas Public Schools in Delaware County to help construct an indoor hitting facility for the school’s baseball and softball teams. Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Councilor Curtis Snell presented KHS head baseball and softball coach Austin Graham the check at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. “Schools today don’t have the extra revenue to dedicate toward the needs of extracurricular activities,” Tribal Councilor Curtis Snell said. “It’s great that the tribe can step up and help schools like Kansas partially fill the funding gap so that students can have amenities like the baseball and softball teams’ indoor hitting facility.” Graham said that without the donation, the hitting facility would not be possible. “The tribe’s help is huge,” Graham said. “We wouldn’t even be able to think about getting new batting cages or a building built without their support.” The tribe donated the money from its special projects fund.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/17/2017 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced on April 11 that the Interior has made its final transfer to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund, bringing the total amount to $60 million to be made available to advanced technical training and higher education for Native youth. The fund provides financial assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary and graduate education and training. It is funded in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations and authorized by the Cobell Trust Management Settlement. “This scholarship program advances the Trump Administration’s commitment to tribal sovereignty and self-determination, as well as the President’s belief that ‘education is the civil rights issue of our time,’” Zinke said. “Investment in the next generation of American leaders will allow many of these young people to gain the valuable skills required for today’s competitive workforce and the knowledge and expertise needed to help their communities meet tomorrow’s challenges. Educational development and skills training are vital for sustaining the economic and political advancement of tribal nations and our nation as a whole.” To date, more than 2,000 scholarships totaling more than $5.25 million have been awarded to almost 1,000 Native American students for vocational, undergraduate and graduate study. The scholarship awards are up to $5,000 per semester for vocational and undergraduate students and up to $10,000 per semester for graduate and doctoral students. The application deadline for the 2017-18 academic year was March 31 and information regarding summer 2017 scholarship opportunities can be found via <a href="http://www.cobellscholar.org" target="_blank">www.cobellscholar.org</a>. Under the terms of the Cobell Settlement, the Interior made quarterly transfers to the scholarship fund up to $60 million. The latest transfer of $12.5 million allowed the DOI to reach this milestone in its fourth year of implementation. The fund is overseen by the Cobell board of trustees and administered by Indigenous Education Inc., a nonprofit corporation expressly created to administer the scholarship program. Alex Pearl, Cobell board chairman, said: “We look forward to continuing our commitment to the legacy of Elouise Cobell and the vision she had for an independent, sustainable and dynamic Indian Country. Our board understands that the barriers to education for Indigenous students are significant and multi-faceted. The funds made possible by Ms. Cobell’s determined pursuit of justice for individual Indians provide an essential vehicle for improving the lives of young Native people and their communities. Our goal of creating a uniquely tuned and permanent scholarship program attentive to the needs and issues of Native students will remain our steadfast focus.” The Buy-Back Program was created to implement the land consolidation component of the $3.4 billion Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractionated interests in trust or restricted land from willing landowners. Consolidated interests are transferred to tribal government ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal citizens. Since the Buy-Back Program began making offers in December 2013, more than $1.1 billion has been paid to landowners, nearly 680,000 fractional interests have been consolidated, and the equivalent of nearly 2.1 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments. Tribal ownership is now greater than 50 percent in more than 13,500 tracts of land. The amount Interior contributed to the scholarship fund each quarter was based on a Cobell settlement formula that set aside a certain amount of funding depending on the value of the fractionated interests sold. These contributions did not reduce the amount that an owner received. The Buy-Back Program recently released its annual Status Report, which highlights the steps taken to date to consolidate fractional interests. Individual participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary. Landowners can call the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 1-888-678-6836 or visit a local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to ask questions about land or purchase offers and learn about financial planning resources. More information and detailed frequently asked questions are available at <a href="https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/FAQ" target="_blank">https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/FAQ</a>.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
04/17/2017 08:30 AM
NORMAN, Okla. – Students from the Cherokee Immersion Charter School and Grand View School, both based in Tahlequah, participated in the 15th annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair on April 3-4 at the Sam Noble Museum. Students representing languages from different Oklahoma-based tribes also competed, but the CICS and Grand View students placed in numerous categories, taking home first-, second- and third-place trophies. The CICS sent around 90 students from grades pre-kindergarten through sixth, while Grand View sent 18 students, third through sixth grade, to Norman. Students from both schools used the Cherokee language to perform songs, skits and readings. CICS Principal Holly Davis said ONAYLF is the biggest event for the school to attend, and it spends most of the year preparing by having teachers tie in songs, skits and readings into lessons. “It’s a great even for our language portion because…we’re so unique that we don’t always have an opportunity to do something like this. So it’s our big event for our language,” Davis said. This year was the CICS’s 12th year attending and the first year for Grand View. Darlene Littledeer, Grand View School third grade math teacher and Cherokee language instructor, said her students spent the school year learning and practicing Cherokee in an after-school program taught by her and another teacher. “It makes me very happy to see that they’re picking it up,” Littledeer said. The CICS placed in 22 categories ranging from small group, large group and individual competition, while Grand View placed in three categories, large group and one individual grand-prize winner. Moze Factor of Grand View also won the grand prize for poster art with his “Creating a New Generation of Speaker” piece. “I was really proud because they had worked really hard on practicing those songs all this time. I didn’t expect anything like that to happen. They just totally surprised me,” Littledeer said. Davis said teaching the Cherokee language is important because second language learners have better comprehensive skills than single-language learners. “We are so convinced that making bilingual children and saving our language is making smarter kids. Research shows that if you’re bilingual or you speak more than one language, you use more of your brain.” <strong>Cherokee Immersion Charter Schools winners</strong> <strong>Pre-kindergarten through Second Grade</strong> Dayci Starr: “The Story of the Milky Way,” Individual Spoken Language, second place First Grade: “5 Little Monkeys,” Large Group Spoken Language, first place Dayci Starr: “Lord’s Prayer,” Individual Spoken Prayer, second place Second Grade: “Lord’s Prayer,” Group Spoken Prayer, second place Dayci Starr: “At the Cross,” Individual Traditional Song, second place First Starters: “Jesus Loves Me,” Group Traditional Song, first place <strong>Third through Fifth Grade</strong> The Story Tellers (fourth grade): “Cherokee Flag,” Large Group Spoken Language, second place Abigail Paden: “How Great Thou Art,” Individual Modern Song, first place Logan Oosahwe: “The Bible is a Treasure Book,” Individual Modern Song, second place Isaiah Walema: Untitled, Individual Modern Song, third place Dallie Dougherty and Alayna Paden: “My Friend,” Small Group Modern Song, second place Cherokee Songbirds: “Salute to the Armed Forces,” Large Group Modern Song, first place Jenna Dunn: “I Would Not Be Denied,” Individual Traditional Song (Group A), first place Maleah Bird: “North Wind,” Individual Traditional Song (Group A), second place Timothy Dunn: “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” Individual Traditional Song (Group A), third place Chet Patterson: “Where the Roses Never Fade,” Individual Traditional Song (Group A), Honorable Mention Isabella Sierra: “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” Individual Traditional Song (Group B), first place Ahnawake McCoy: “Heavenly Home,” Individual Traditional Song (Group B), second place Third Grade: “God’s Children,” Small Group Traditional Song, first place Third Grade: “Eternal Sabbath,” Medium Group Traditional Song, second place <strong>Sixth through Eighth Grade</strong> Sixth Grade: “Celebration,” Group Modern Song, first place Kaitlyn Pinkerton: “At the Cross,” Individual Traditional Song (Group A), second place <strong>Grand View School Winners</strong> <strong>Third through fifth grade</strong> Grand View Cherokee Choir: “This Land is Your Land,” Large Group Modern Song, second place Grand View Cherokee Choir: “Sunday School Song,” Large Group Traditional Song, first place <strong>Sixth through eighth grade</strong> Moze Factor: “Creating a New Generation of Speaker,” Poster Art, grand prize
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/16/2017 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Woodall School will host its Scholastic Chess Open for students in grades kindergarten through 12 on April 22 at the school located at 14090 W. 835 Road. According to a press release, the event is a Swiss-system tournament, which is a non-eliminating tournament that features a set number of rounds. It is also school team sensitive with machine tie breaks (no blitz). Half-point byes are available for one non-played round except the last round. Players may only “play up” 100 points to a higher-rated section. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. All players must check in 15 minutes prior to play in Round 1. Round 1 begins at 10 a.m. for Sections 4 and 5. Sections 1, 2 and 3 begin at 10:30 a.m. Section 1 is kindergarten through fourth grade at U500 with five rounds. Section 2 is kindergarten through sixth grade at U700 with five rounds. Section 3 is grades six through 12 at U700 with five rounds. Section 4 is kindergarten through 12th grade at U1100 with five rounds. Section 5 is kindergarten through 12th grade at Premier 1100+ with four rounds. All sections will be rated using the Chess Express Rating Service. All chess ratings will be looked up by the tournament director. For more information, call Geary Crofford at 918-456-1581 or Jannifer Smith at 918-457-9771 or email <a href="mailto: gcrofford@woodall.k12.ok.us">gcrofford@woodall.k12.ok.us</a> or <a href="mailto: jannifergwen@hotmail.com">jannifergwen@hotmail.com</a>. <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2017/4/11158__brief_170410_WoodallChessForm.pdf" target="_blank">Click here</a>to download the entry form.