Modern Song with Native American Language

Modern song, as opposed to traditional song, includes original songs, popular music, rap or hip-hop and other types of song that creatively use language in non-traditional ways. Singing in Native languages has always been a tradition, but singing modern songs inspires Native language use in diverse social arenas and formats.

This is a live category. You must be pre-registered and present to perform and to receive awards.

Suggestions for preparing for the ONAYALF:

  • Pre-register online
  • Focus on Native language use
  • Keep a five to seven-minute time limit (plus two minutes for set-up and exiting the stage)
  • Use props, costumes and Native regalia

Guidelines for your ONAYALF performance:

Please do not:

  • Use scripts, notes or cheat-sheets
  • Speak in English
  • Have teachers on stage
  • Use food, animals or organic materials (grass, bark, leaves) in the performance

Judges will consist of the following: a panel of at least three elders, Native language teachers, and/or

Native speakers. Performances will be judged on the following criteria: 

  • Amount of Native American language used-points added for the use of Native language, deducted for use of English
  • Ease and comfort of language use
  • Presentation and poise of performance
  • Spirit of performance

You must pre-register to receive t-shirts and awards. Please do so as early as possible.

  • Give us your background music cd at registration; we'll take care of the audio.
  • You can dance if you want to, but remember that it's about language use
  • Limited rehearsal space is available. This space is shared with other groups.
  • Contact us if you're concerned about whether your props and regalia count as "organic."
  • Group sizes and performance venues are subject to change based on registered entries.

Students performing in multiple categories may experience scheduling conflicts. We try to avoid this, but help us out and let us know if you see a potential problem. 

Questions? Comments? Help? Contact [email protected] or 918-781-6270.