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Osage Language students win big at Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair

Students brought home 43 awards, with 37 of those won by students from Daposka Ahnkodapi, the Osage Nation's private elementary school.

Osage Language students received over 40 awards from this year’s Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.

Forty-three awards were won in total, with six of those awards coming from Osage Language high school students – the rest came from the Osage Nation’s private elementary school, 𐓈𐒰𐓄𐓂𐓆𐒼𐒰 𐒰͘𐒼𐓂𐓈𐒰𐓄𐒻 (Daposka Ahnkodapi). A panel of 25 judges selected the winners out of over 300 entries.

“On behalf of the Osage Nation, I would like to congratulate every student who participated in the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair,” said Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear in an ON release. “Your efforts to learn and revitalize native languages are so critical. We are incredibly proud and grateful for you.” 

The Language Fair is an annual celebration and competition of Native American youth learning their traditional languages. Open to students from pre-K through high school, the Fair is normally held at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. As has been done for the past two years, the event was virtual with the theme “Language = Strong Hearts + Minds.” 

Each year a poster contest is held and a Grand Prize winner selected. The winner’s artwork gets to grace the cover of next year’s Language Fair materials, including t-shirts and posters. This year’s winner was Emma McKibben, a 16-year-old sophomore at Pawhuska High School, who takes Osage II from Osage Language Instructor Dana Daylight.

Daylight said she encouraged her students to enter the Language Fair and is thrilled to see their hard work be acknowledged. 

“I was so impressed with all their work,” Daylight said in an ON release. “I loved how each student had something different to share. Seeing their work lets me know they really are listening and taking in what we talk about in our class. I love the way they were able to convey their thoughts and put them into these posters. They are the reason I love my job. I get to share my Osage language and culture with my students, and I ask them to think about their families and what is shared at home. I want them to be proud of who they are and where they come from.” 

The full list of Osage Language youth participants (9th through 12th grades) and categories can be found below: 

9th – 12th Grade Poster Art Category

  • Grand Prize Winner: Emma McKibben (Pawhuska High School: Language II, Grade 10) 
  • 1st Place: Avery Potts (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • 2nd Place: Riley Neel (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Honorable Mention: Maliyah West (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Honorable Mention: Illyssa Leland (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Wyatt Bayro (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Madison Easley (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Maggie Green (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Lilly Harris (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 10) 
  • Participant: Jojo Hendren (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 10) 
  • Participant: Farleigh Pewewardy (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 10) 
  • Participant: George Shaw (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Jaydin Shaw (Pawhuska High School: Language I, Grade 9) 
  • Participant: Lea McCann (Pawhuska High School: Language II, Grade 12) 

9th – 12th Grade Book

  • 1st Place: Aubrey Martin (Pawhuska High School: Language II, Grade 12) 
  • 2nd Place: Emma McKibben (Pawhuska High School: Language II, Grade 10) 

9th – 12th Grade Comic and Cartoons Category

  • 1st Place: Addison Carter (Barnsdall High School: Language II, Grade 11) 

Daposka Ahnkodapi students from grades PreK – 2nd and 3rd – 5th grades won 37 awards, the most for those age groups since the Nation has been participating in the Language Fair. Out of those 37 awards, 14 were first place finishes. Daposka Ahnkodapi Superintendent Patrick Martin applauds the teachers, students and parents for the student’s continued success. 

“I am proud of each one of our students for participating in the Language Fair,” Martin said in an ON release. “We are all proud of our Osage Language and because of Our School, we are able to breathe it in here and make it part of our lives. Daposka has many Wakonze to thank: Wakonze Cameron Pratt put in a lot of work with these kids, especially on the posters and written items. Talee Redcorn came over and taught them a church hymn that a 4th grader, Dominic Shackelford, led. Wakonze Melissa Kizziar led her kids in a song and skit. 

“A turning point in our preparation came when Chief Standing Bear came by for a preview and took a video of our 4th and 5th graders singing a translation of ‘Come and Get Your Love,’” Martin said. “The kids were having so much fun singing it that it went viral online and got lots of likes. It was definitely a group effort, and everybody felt a little closer to our language having participated in this event.”

The full list of Daposka Ahnkodapi and Osage Language Department youth participants (PreK – 2nd and 3rd – 5th Grade age groups) and categories can be found below: 

PreK – 2nd Grade Book 

  • 1st Place: Jesse McKibben (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 2nd Place Evelyn Shackelford  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 3rd Place: Shaylynn Littlecook  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Comic and Cartoons 

  • 1st Place: Wahreshe Hamilton  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 2nd Place: Arian Jenkins  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 3rd Place: Tony Deleon  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Poster Art Category

  • 3rd Place: Cyprus Lindsey (Osage Nation Language Children’s Community Class, Fairfax / Teacher Tom Ashmore) 
  • Honorable Mention: Arian Jenkins  (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Jesse McKibben (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Izhinke Jacobs (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Small Group Modern Song with Language

  • 1st Place:  PreK & Kindergarten “Counting to 10” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 2nd Place: CHHKLSL “Colors” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Medium Group Traditional Song with Language 

  • 1st Place: 1st & 2nd Grades “Jesus Loves Me” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Individual Spoken Language 

  • 1st Place: Jesse McKibben “Brown Bear” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Large Group Skit/Short Play 

  • 1st Place: 1st & 2nd Grades “Animals” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

PreK – 2nd Grade Group Spoken Prayer 

  • 1st Place: PreK & Kindergarten Mealtime Prayer (Daposka Anhkodapi)

3rd – 5th Grade Comics and Cartoons Category Group A

  • 1st Place: Luna Jacobs “Picnic Day” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 2nd Place: Edward Gray “Wolf and Dog” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 3rd Place: Lenora White, Comic (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Makani McGlaston “Weird Bettle Thing” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Comics and Cartoons Category Group A

  • 1st Place: Dominic Shackelford and Pehan Redcorn “Coyote and Porcupine” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 2nd Place: Shane Cass, Comic (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 3rd Place: Mahpiya Primeaux, Comic (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Charles Duty, Comic (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Poster Art Category

  • 2nd Place: Signy Redcorn (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • 3rd Place: Luna Jacobs (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Joseph Duty (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 
  • Honorable Mention: Alice Deleon (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Group Modern Song with Language

  • 1st Place: Daposka Ahnkodapi 4th & 5th Grades “Come and Get Your Love” 

3rd – 5th Grade Group Puppet Show

  • 1st Place: Dominic Shackelford and Pehan Redcorn “Coyote and Porcupine” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Large Group Traditional Song with Language

  • 1st Place: Daposka Ahnkodapi 1st – 5th Grades “The Children’s Hymn”

3rd – 5th Grade Individual Spoken Language Group A

  • 3rd Place: Signy Redcorn “Brown Bear” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Individual Spoken Language Group B

  • 3rd Place: Jianna Jones “Brown Bear” (Daposka Ahnkodapi) 

3rd – 5th Grade Group Spoken Language 

  • 2nd Place: ​​Daposka Ahnkodapi 3rd Grade “Indian Dice Game” 

3rd – 5th Grade Group Skit/Short Play

  • 1st Place: Daposka Anhkodapi 3rd Grade “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” 

3rd – 5th Grade Group Spoken Prayer

  • 1st Place: ​​Daposka Ahnkodapi 3rd Grade “Mealtime Prayer”

A full list of participants, winners and performances can be found at samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. 

To view more photos of the student’s poster entries, visit the Osage News Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/osagenews/albums/72177720299186566 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/osagenews/albums/72177720298848567

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Shannon Shaw Dutyhttps://osagenews.org
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.
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