$4.9 million awarded to preserve Native languages

The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families announced awards today for 18 grant projects, totaling nearly $4.9 million, to help preserve Native languages in various communities throughout the United States.

Funding through the Native Language Preservation and Maintenance and the Esther Martinez Immersion programs will assist tribes and Native organizations with planning, developing, and implementing projects to revitalize languages, preserve cultures and ceremonies, and strengthen inter-generational activities between elders and younger children. These grant projects encourage communities to strengthen Native language use while moving toward social unity.

“We are proud to continue to offer these awards that will make significant contributions to Native language preservation,” said Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner of ANA. “ANA believes in the restoration and preservation of Native American languages, and this funding will continue to help develop and implement projects that will ensure endurance and vitality of Native languages. We look forward to the collaboration and partnerships with these grantees as we continue to build on the success of our Native language programs.”

The Native language grants, called the Esther Martinez Immersion project and the Preservation and Maintenance project, will establish Native language curriculums, teacher certifications, youth summer programs, college internships and develop interactive online learning tools. The projects will also focus on community-driven programs that are designed to revitalize Native languages. In the first year, awardees will receive grant totals ranging from $177,271 to $300,000. All Esther Martinez Immersion grants are statutorily required to be three-years in duration and the Preservation and Maintenance projects are one to three years.

Each grant recipient proposed projects based on needs identified by their community with respect to the preservation of Native language. One such example is the Wopanaak Language and Cultural Weetyoo, Inc., based in Mashpee, Massachusetts. The agency is adding new components to their Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project through the Esther Martinez Immersion grant to create new speakers while implementing a wellness plan that addresses student social-emotional development and learning. Another, the Ohkay Owingeh Project in Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico, will use funding to increase the number of fluent Tewa speakers by offering community members the opportunity to learn their Native language. The new program will use funding from the Native Language Preservation and Maintenance program to establish a summer youth program and certify tribal members to serve as Tewa language teachers. Providing the funding will allow younger generations to create a sacred thread of interconnectedness and belonging within their community that is critical to Native youth facing social and economic challenges. Esther Martinez was a member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and advocated to Congress for the creation of an immersion program to be established in ANA, now known as the Esther Martinez Immersion program.

“Our funding and training assistance programs will assist several communities and organizations with enhancing and developing programs that will conserve languages in their community,” said Commissioner Hovland. “This will help to build and sustain social unity and self-sufficiency among communities, and we are proud to partner with Native leaders and Native organizations to ensure our communities are stronger, vibrant and have the ability to safeguard their heritages and languages our ancestors have passed down to us.”

The following tribes and organizations are recipients of the Native Language Preservation and Maintenance grant:

  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian (MI)- $274,526
  • Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. (AK) - $300,000
  • Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (WI) - $183,632
  • Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project Inc. (OK) - $300,000
  • Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (NY) - $297,999
  • Papakolea Community Development Corporation (HI) - $294,496
  • Ohkay Owingeh (NM) - $232,385
  • Minneapolis American Indian Center (MN) - $300,000
  • Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (OR) - $232,050
  • Turtle Mountain Community College (ND) – $177,271

The following tribes and organizations are recipients of the Native Language Esther Martinez Immersion grant:

  • Clare Swan Early Learning Center (AK) - $300,000
  • Wopanaak Language and Cultural Weetyoo, Inc. (MA) - $299,519
  • Salish School of Spokane (WA) - $300,000
  • KAI LOA, INC (HI) - $298,433
  • Hualapai Indian Tribe (AZ) - $219,823
  • Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation (WA) - $300,000
  • Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians (MN) - $300,000
  • Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation (MT) - $273,743

To review the complete listing of Administration for Native Americans grants, visit: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ana/current-grantees.

Quick Facts

  • Nearly $4.9 million is being awarded by ANA to help preserve Native languages in various communities throughout the United States.
  • Funding through the Native Language Preservation and Maintenance and the Esther Martinez Immersion programs will assist tribes and Native organizations with planning, developing, and implementing projects to revitalize languages and preserve cultures.
  • All Esther Martinez Immersion grants are statutorily required to be three-years in duration and the Preservation and Maintenance projects are one to three years.

Quotes

"We are proud to continue to offer these awards that will make significant contributions to Native language preservation. ANA believes in the restoration and preservation of Native American languages, and this funding will continue to help develop and implement projects that will ensure endurance and vitality of Native languages. We look forward to the collaboration and partnerships with these grantees as we continue to build on the success of our Native language programs."
Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner of Administration for Native Americans and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs
"Our funding and training assistance programs will assist several communities and organizations with enhancing and developing programs that will conserve languages in their community. This will help to build and sustain social unity and self-sufficiency among communities, and we are proud to partner with Native leaders and Native organizations to ensure our communities are stronger, vibrant and have the ability to safeguard their heritages and languages our ancestors have passed down to us."
Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner of Administration for Native Americans and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs
Last Reviewed: July 31, 2019
Back to Top