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ANA Messenger - Language and Culture Edition - Winter 2016

Published: January 19, 2016
Native Languages, tribal grantees

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Commissioner's InsightLillian Sparks

Greetings Relatives,

Though it was slow to arrive, winter has finally settled over Washington, DC.  I hope that the holiday season found everyone blessed with good company and good will.  The ANA staff celebrated together during their many preparations for another successful year.  We tinkered like busy elves to have the 2016 Funding Opportunity Announcements completed.  Now, with our standing grants open for applications we’re on the hunt for a few good panel reviewers.  I must note that January 4, 2016 marked the completion of our 40th year of service to Indian Country.  We are so honored to be able to continue supporting the work that all of you are doing on behalf of your Tribes and communities.

In line with the language theme of our winter edition, all of these recent events have had us talking.  We are discussing ways to share the joy of our 40th anniversary with you, while ensuring the next 40 will be even better.  Thus, the next quartet of newsletters will serve as commemorative anniversary editions.  We will offer insights into each decade that ANA has seen through several forms of media.  We hope you enjoy this peak into our past even as we continue to tell you about the projects that are part of our present and future.

In this edition of the ANA Messenger you will read the profiles of four new and returning staff members, Tom Dannan, Diana Gates, Kristen Pratt, and Frank Rojas.  We are excited to have Tom return to our team, for Frank’s temporary position with us, and eager to gain the expertise of Kristen and Diana.  You will also read about a few of the past and current projects funded by ANA that focus on Native language preservation and revitalization.

 The Cheyenne and Arapaho are working to bring Native language instruction to the public schools that serve their communities.  The Pueblo of Pojoaque have successfully begun teaching Tewa in an early childhood setting and are now expanding their program to other schools.  These current grantees share their insight into language project success and the importance of community involvement.

We also check in with past grantees whose language nests have flourished.  Learn how the Salish School of Spokane turned a handful of language teachers into a community of language speakers.  Read about how three determined Ojibwe women started a project that is saving a language that had only one first language speaker left in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

In place of a book review, a member of staff will share their take on the documentary “Rising Voices.”  Members of ANA and the larger ACF community sat down together to watch this film which focuses on efforts to revitalize the Lakota language.

In honor of this first edition of the anniversary series, readers will be able to view the ANA through the eyes of those who were around for the beginning.  Mr. Thomas Vigil and Mr. Dan Van Otten discuss the obstacles that faced ANA in its beginning and the steps it took to persevere.  Lastly, a timeline of ANA’s history can be found in this issue along with a link to footage of grantees celebrating 40 years of partnership with ANA. Happy New Year!


Lillian A. Sparks



Grantee Highlights

Cheyenne and Arapaho

Pueblo of Pojoaque

Getting to Know Us

Tom Dannan, Project Manager

Diana Gates, Impact Evaluator

Kristen Pratt. Program Specialist

Frank Rojas, Presidential Management Fellow

Past Grantee Highlights

Salish School of Spokane

Turtle Island Language Program

What We are Viewing

Rising Voices:Revitalizing the Lakota Language

The Dispatch

Bulletin Board

ANA History

ANA History with Tom and Dan

ANA Timeline 

ANA 40th Anniversary Video


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Last Reviewed: July 15, 2019