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ANA Messenger - Winter 2017

Language and Culture Edition

Published: January 23, 2017
Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS), Native Languages
Applicant Resources, Grantee Resources, Training and Technical Assistance
Connecting Grantees, Native Languages, newsletter

Newsletter header for ANA Messenger: Language and Culture Edition

Commissioner's InsightStacey Ecoffey,  Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs and Commissioner, Administration for Native Ameri

Greetings Relatives,

I am honored to be addressing you all for the first time as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs and Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA). My first few months onboard have shown me the passion of ANA’s staff to carry out the mission of promoting self-sufficiency for Native Americans. Every member of the team has been working this winter to prepare for another year of funding announcements, webinars, and a grantee meeting. I have enjoyed learning from them as I step into this role and hope to meet our grantees during my tenure with ANA.

But for now we are bundled up in our office sharing stories from the holidays. I’m sure we’re not the only ones. Winter is a good time for story-telling, and that works well with our theme of language and culture. Words and stories spoken in a mother tongue are a critical component to passing down traditions. In that spirit, we are celebrating the ten year anniversary of the passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act. We are looking forward to a future article by the National Endowment of the Arts recognizing the legacy of Ms. Martinez that lives on through our ANA grants.

In this edition of the ANA Messenger you will find the profile of our newest staff member, Sonya Begay. Sonya brings insight from previous government work and as an elder. We are happy to have her with us. You will also find highlights from a few past and present ANA-funded projects focused on Native language preservation and revitalization.

Rural American Initiatives is working to teach Lakota adolescents their Native language to keep tribal traditions alive. Para I Probechu’n I Taotao-ta, Inc in Guam is working to preserve and increase the usage of the Chamorro language through traditional singing and dancing.

The Yurok Tribe finished strong with their Yurok Language Survival School and Restoration Project, which led to a ½ day cross-curricular Yurok immersion program at an elementary school. Chief Dull Knife College also succeeded in establishing an early Cheyenne language education program for children six and younger.

Deputy Commissioner, Kim Romine, has contributed to this season’s book review of "More Encounters with Star People –Urban American Indians Tell Their Stories." Sticking to our story-telling theme, this work is a collection of stories from those who have had encounters with the Star People. The goal of the book is not simply to share stories but to remind us all of the responsibility to care for Mother Earth. And speaking of reminders, Michelle Sauve, is sending out the call for American Indians/Alaska Natives to enroll on the ACA marketplace. ANA is also sharing some facts and figures that you may find interesting with our QuaNative snap-stats.

Outside of ANA’s own work and successes, the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is overseeing several tasks to help improve Native Communities. For example, January is National Human Trafficking Prevention month and at Health and Human Services, we see trafficking as a public health issue. You will be able to read about how ANA is partnering with the Office of Trafficking in Persons to support Native American communities in combating this crime. ACF is also reaching out to tribal representatives, organizations, and grantees for their comments regarding the challenges they face and how ACF might help. Further information can be found within the pages of this newsletter.

There’s a lot to read in this edition, and I’m sure you will come away from it with a story to share. Don’t forget there’s even more to see on our website.

Stacey Ecoffey,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs & Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans




Grantee Highlights

Rural American Initiatives

Para I Probechu'n I Taotaota, Inc.


Past Grantee Highlight

Yurok Tribe

Chief Dull Knife College

HHS Tribal Affairs

Awareness during Human Trafficking Month

Request for Public Comment


Talking Stick

Affordable Care Act for AI/ANs

QuaNative: Breakdown of FY2016 Award & Requests

QuaNative: ANA Grant Distribution (infographics)

What We are Reading Now

More Encounters with Star People

Getting to Know Us

Staff Spotlight: Sonya Begay


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Last Reviewed: June 27, 2019