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The ANA Messenger: Native Languages Edition 2014

Published: February 19, 2014
Native Languages
Grantee Resources, Language Immersion
The ANA Messenger, Administration for Native Americans, Promoting the Goal of Social and Economic Self-Sufficiency for All Native Americans

Commissioner's InsightLillian Sparks

Taŋyáŋ yahípi, welcome to this edition of the ANA Messenger.  Our theme for this issue is native languages and cultures.  We are highlighting several of our current grantee projects and a few recently ended ones that were visited by our impact evaluators.  I am always inspired by the work and dedication of the grantee communities in revitalizing and maintaining our native languages, so please be sure to read the Grantee Highlights for inspiration or new ideas for language and cultural preservation projects in your community.  

One particularly inspiring individual, who walked on in 2013, is Dr. Darrel Kipp, Blackfeet, Director of the Piegan Institute and founder of the Cuts Wood School in Montana. We know he counseled many native language advocates over the years not to wait, that the time to save our languages is now. We couldn’t agree more. I recall calling on Dr. Kipp to get his input on the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Act and he advised that this program would make it possible for many communities to realize their dream of having native language immersion programs available for their children and pledged his support. We want to thank Scott Thompson, Briana Wipf and Larry Beckner with the Great Falls Tribune, for allowing us to reprint their article on Dr. Kipp, so that those who didn’t get a chance to meet him get a sense of his contributions to our shared cause.

Last year, in the fall 2012 ANA Messenger, I announced the formation of the Administration for Children and Families Native Languages Workgroup, which has two objectives.  The first objective is to better coordinate resources and share native language success stories across ACF funded programs such as the Office of Child Care and Office of Head Start. The second objective is to have a core team that can work on the purpose and goals of the interagency Native Language Memorandum of Agreement signed with the Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Education and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education in 2012.   I am happy to report that the efforts of this team are beginning to bear fruit, and you can read more about it in the ANA Language Update for 2013.  

ANA staff members have been busy in 2013 creating resources for potential ANA language applicants, such as the Grantee ANA Language Grantee Best Practices, and the technical assistance providers have coordinated various language webinars to highlight topics such as language proficiency assessment tools and successful strategies for teacher training. In addition we’ve joined together in language grantee calls and in the ANA Native Languages virtual community center.  We are planning to do more of these activities in 2014, as well as looking for ways of making ANA grantee created resources more readily accessible, when appropriate, so that we can build on the wealth of language resources that have been created over the years.

Also in this edition are updates from the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs including HHS’s Interagency Council on Native American Affairs, as well as from ACF and other federal offices.

We are continually looking for ways to support the hard work you are doing, and as always I look forward to your feedback on how we are doing, and what would help you most.  


Commissioner Lillian Sparks Robinson



ANA FY 2014 Funding Update

Please note the Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for ANA’s Language, Environmental and Regulatory Enhancement, Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies and Social and Economic Development Strategies were published on February 14. Application deadlines are April 15 for all of those funding opportunities. Copies of the FOAs can be found on the ANA website and grants.gov. Also, we will have training and technical assistance scheduled for the published funding opportunities.

With respect to the Native Asset Building Initiative FOA, ANA will issue the Notice of Public Comment later this month and we plan to publish the FOA in mid to late April. Please check the ANA website for more information.

Get to Know Us!

We have a couple new Program Specialists this quarter!
First let's introduce William Post!

Tyanne Benallie

And our other new member, Mardella Costanzo!

Also, we had a portion of our team recognized. Read about it here in Staff Kudos.


Talking Stick

In honor of International  Mother Languages Day on February 21, the recent publication of ANA’s funding announcements and the upcoming Native Languages Summit we will co-host June 20, 2014, we wish to re-share the Commissioner’s editorial on Native American languages.



Communities in the News

Oklahoma EMI Programs Featured on local PBS station
Two ANA Esther Martinez Immersion Programs are featured in this program on the importance of American Indian Language Programs in Oklahoma.

Read about how our communities have been recognized through other venues


The Dispatch

ACF Office Updates

Office of Head Start "Celebrating Mother Language Day" Resources





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William PostMardella Costanzo

Last Reviewed: October 17, 2016