April 25, 2012
More than 600 Native American youth from tribes across Oklahoma and beyond gathered this month at the University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum in Norman for their tenth annual two-day Youth Language Fair. Twenty-eight students from Cultural Survival’s partner program, the Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project participated in nine separate categories of competition for youth ranging in age from preschool through high school.
The Euchee preschool and kindergarten class took home top honors for their illustrated submission in the “Book & Literature” category, which included drawings like this one from Waleli Hummingbird, age 3, of a Euchee hummingbird.
“The purpose of the event is to encourage young people… to learn their Native language and to use it in daily life,” Dr. Mary Linn, Associate Curator of Native American Languages, said in a live interview with The Oklahoman. “It’s also to encourage those who are learning it to keep going. It’s a really big task, and sometimes a really big burden is put on their shoulders.”
The Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project is one of Cultural Survival’s five partner programs based in tribal communities in Alaska, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Meet their teachers, elders, and students online at www.ourmothertongues.org and read more in the Cultural Survival Quarterly.