Teacher Appreciation Week!

May 6 - May 10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, and throughout the country students and organizations are finding ways to thank their teachers. ANA would like to take the time to give our appreciation to the hundreds of teachers of Native languages across Indian Country who’ve helped carry the flame of Native languages to future generations.

In just the last six years, ANA funding has helped provide training to over 585 teachers of Native languages across the country. These amazing individuals come from all walks of life—from volunteers on a rural reservation, to non-Native Head Start teachers on a reservation learning traditional Native songs with their Native and non-Native children, to Native youths with college degrees teaching an afterschool program at an urban Indian center. These teachers may be community Elders who hadn’t spoken the language in decades, or youths who spent hundreds of hours learning their language from audio recordings and textbooks. As teachers, they are now passing on the stories, knowledge, and wisdom of their ancestors through their Native language, revitalizing Native cultures.

What’s more, these and other Native language teachers have gone on to work with the over 2,000 youths and 900 adults every year, on average, who increase their knowledge of a Native language with the help of ANA funding. As these students can attest, the dedication and effort of their teachers, working with limited resources, has been instrumental in their personal journey to connecting with their Native identity and culture.

So on behalf of ACF, the Administration for Native Americans, and the thousands of people whose lives have been transformed through language learning, we thank Native language teachers and all other teachers everywhere for the important work they do. Our future depends on them.

Do you have an idea for a native language project? ANA’s Native Language Funding Opportunity Announcement is available now, and you can view it on our funding opportunities page. Applications are due June 6, 2013.