Registration for serving as a Judge at the 2018 ONAYLF will open on January 8, 2018.  If you have not registered and want to judge, please call the ONAYLF office at (405) 325-7588.

The Fair depends on voluntary judges from a variety of tribal and linguistic backgrounds. We welcome Native speakers, elders and educators to serve as judges. In some categories, we include Native specialists for that area, such as artists, poets and writers. Our judges have historically represented almost every Tribe and Nation in Oklahoma. Judges can choose to review entries in material submissions categories before the Fair and can attend the live performances during the Fair to serve on judging panels. Some of our categories (Advocacy Essay, Comics and Cartoons) are reviewed via email.

Even if you can’t make it to Norman, you can still be a judge! Judging is a part of the Fair in order to inspire friendly competition and to provide additional personal or class goals for participants to work toward. Participants are not judged on correctness or perfection. We hope students feel comfortable using their languages, whether they have been speaking for years or are just beginning to learn. We judge on the amount of Native language students use, their poise and presentation, the spirit of their performance and effort put into the presentation or submission. See the individual category descriptions for more specifics on how each category is judged.

During the live performances of the Fair days, judging panels are designed with diversity and impartiality in mind. Judges who are teachers or relatives of participants are excluded from judging those performances. We arrange panels such that several languages are spoken between the judges and that judges from the same community are not over represented. Panels include both women and men of various ages and backgrounds. For these reasons, and because all of our judges are volunteers, if you are a speaker of a Native language we welcome you to come to the Fair as a judge. We are grateful so many of our judges are able to review entries in material submissions categories before the Fair and are able to volunteer at the Fair itself. Come share your language, represent your community and encourage all of our student participants for their efforts!


It is the policy of this organization to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual preference, age or disability. If you need a letter for your employer, please let us know and we will be happy to confirm your volunteer hours with us. By registering as a judge you acknowledge that you have read and attest to your understanding of the Sam Noble Museum Volunteer Guidelines Minors on Campus.

Quick Links