WCEP Focuses on Prayer, Song and Spoken Language for ONAYLF

Little Sisters


The sounds of 41 spoken and sung Native languages filled the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on April 2-3, 2018. Since 2003, the museum has served as the host to the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.


According to festival representative Nancy Coleman, this year's numbers included 1,363 students, 197 live performances and a total of 2,989 attendees over the two days.


This year, the Wichita Cultural Education Program, led by Cultural Planner Gary McAdams, won multiple awards through the use of the Wichita language.


Hayden Hill Praying 


On the first morning of the festival on April 2, Hayden Hill won first place in the 3rd-5th Grade Individual Spoken Prayer category. Shortly after, Brianna Hill won first place in the 3rd-5th Grade Individual Traditional Song category. Both competitions took place in the Sam Noble Museum's Discovery Room.


Brianna Hill


The next day saw 9th-12th Grade Wichita students represented on April 3. First, Makennah McAdams, the 2017-2018 Wichita Tribal Princess, won second place in the 9th-12th Grade Modern Song category with a Wichita language rendition of "I'll Fly Away." This event took place in the museum's Discovery Room.


In the Great Hall section of the museum, sisters Leyla and Elizabeth Saldana filled the room with Wichita lullabies, winning first place in the 6th-8th Grade Small Group Traditional Song category.


Saldana Sisters Singing


Following the Saldana sisters, members of the Wichita Young Man Society and the Kitikiti'sh Little Sisters performed in the Kerr Auditorium. The Wichita Young Man Society sang Big Wolf songs, placing third in the 9th-12th Grade Small Group Traditional Song category. The members who sang included Kody McAdams, Kevin Marquez, Caleb Holman, Dominic Blindwoman and James Marquez.


The Little Sisters followed them shortly after, winning first place in the 9th-12th Grade Large Group Traditional Song category. The Little Sisters in the performance included Makennah McAdams; Jenny Marquez; Lindy Chalepah; Addison Chalepah; 2015-2016 Wichita Tribal Princess Charlie McAdams; K'Dence Montoya; Sahkid'a Dardar; and 2017-2018 Little Sisters Princess Lily Jade Williams.


Charlie McAdams then closed the day with a first-place win in the 9th-12th Grade Individual Spoken Language category, telling the Wichita Creation Story. This final event for the Wichita students took place in the Great Plains Classroom.