Since 1986, Preview Magazine has established itself as the number one monthly visitor publication in the Oklahoma City metro area. Preview will keep you up to speed of where to go and what to do during your stay here. Look to Preview as a reliable and familiar guide for dining, shopping, entertainment and services, calendar of events, relocation information and a map. Preview Magazine represents the most widely used source of services that you need during your stay in our great city!
Native American languages are often associated with a bygone era of history, but many people fail to realize that these languages thrive today just as they did centuries ago through families dedicated to keeping their language alive. Now, more than ever, the emphasis on language and cultural preservation is being placed in the hands of Native American youth.
This is evident at the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair (ONAYLF), held annually at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman. This April, a record number of Oklahoma children and teens traveled to Norman to compete - 921 students competed in 45 Native languages.
“I wanted to compete in the language fair because I wanted to push myself to try and learn more,” Chyna Dorsett said, a Muskogee-speaker and returning participant.
Native American languages have developed over time like any other language by adding words for new concepts, such as Facebook. By constantly adapting to changes in society and adding new words for developing concepts, Native American languages retain relevancy for younger generations.
“We can teach our children to keep the language going on,” Niigan Sunray said, a first language Native-American-speaker. “Not many people know it anymore.”
Many previous ONAYLF participants consider their role in cultural revitalization as a vital part of their future. Katy Shackelford, a 16-year-old Chickasaw-speaker, struggled to imagine a future without Chickasaw.
“We speak Chickasaw words every day, even if it’s not necessarily whole conversations, “she said. “You can’t really get rid of who you are. A lot of things that we do we do with the tribe, with our culture.”
Through the ONAYLF, Native American youth are given the tools necessary to preserving their heritage. The ONAYLF gives reason to believe that the future of Native American culture is bright indeed.
Inside Preview Online
78°F, Windchill: 78°F
Wind: 18 mph S
Visibility: 0 mi
pressure: 29.65 in rising
Sunrise: 6:22 am
Sunset: 8:29 pm
Hi: 89°F, Low: 67°F
Hi: 86°F, Low: 64°F