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Indian Affairs Makes Significant Investment to Protect and Preserve Native Languages

June 15, 2022

Living Languages Grants awarded to 45 Tribes and Tribal organizations  

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced today that the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Economic Development has awarded $7 million in grants under the Living Languages Grant Program to 45 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and Tribal organizations.

The Living Languages Grant Program provides an opportunity for Tribes to receive funding to document and revitalize languages that are at risk of disappearing because of a declining native-speaker population. For more than 150 years, Native languages in the U.S. have been subjected to suppression and elimination from a variety of factors such as federal boarding and other types of schools that forced American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children to forgo speaking the language of their peoples.

“Native language preservation has for many years been cited by Indigenous leaders as important to their self-preservation, self-determination and sovereignty. Native preservation and language revitalization is a critical priority because languages go to the heart of a Tribe’s unique cultural identities, traditions, spiritual beliefs and self-governance,” said Assistant Secretary Newland. “Through the Living Languages Grant Program and other interagency efforts, the Biden-Harris administration is working to invest in and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.”

Native language preservation is a priority for the Biden-Harris administration and its all-of-government approach to strengthening and supporting Indigenous communities. During the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit in November 2021, the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Education and Health and Human Services launched a new interagency initiative to preserve, protect and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice and develop Native languages.

The program evaluated 59 applications, totaling $9.37 million in requests, to support Tribal programs that document Native American languages or build Tribal capacity to create or expand language preservation programs.

Grant proposals were rated on the extent to which funding would document, preserve or revitalize a Native language; the degree to which the language addressed by a proposal risks extinction; the likelihood that the instruction to be funded would revitalize the language by preventing intergenerational disruption; and the number of students or percentage of Tribal members the proposal would benefit.

While only federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations are eligible for the Living Languages Grant Program, grantees can retain for-profit and non-profit community groups to perform a grant’s scope of work.

The grantees and funding amounts announced today are:

Artic Slope Community Foundation, Inc.: $172,026
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa: $86,241
Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska: $200,000
Chickaloon Native Village: $166,300
Chickasaw Nation: $199,997
Chippewa Cree Tribe: $180,100
Comanche Nation: $192,121
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians: $161,150
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: $82,396
Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians: $59,290
Delaware Nation: $198,996
Diné College: $60,189
Forest County Potawatomi Community: $155,718
Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation: $199,680
Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe: $121,299
Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria: $199,686
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Inc.: $200,000
Lummi Nation: $200,000
Manzanita Band of Diegueno Mission Indians: $129,337
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe: $199,901
Modoc Nation: $199,854
Mohegan Tribe of Indians CT: $85,064
Muscogee (Creek) Nation: $69,789
Nez Perce Tribe: $159,958
North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California: $192,371
Northern Arapaho Tribe: $169,649
Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation: $60,000
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska: $200,000
Pala Band of Mission Indians: $192,461
Puyallup Tribe of Indians: $139,931
Quapaw Nation: $72,000
Rosebud Economic Development Corporation: $168,793
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan: $193,998
San Carlos Apache Tribal Council: $184,344
Santee Sioux Nation: $157,956
Santo Domingo Pueblo (Kewa Pueblo): $123,795
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians: $106,554
Spirit Lake Tribe: $170,297
Tribal Government of Saint Paul Island: $172,328
Turtle Mountain Community College: $200,000
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe: $200,000
Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California: $138,230
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes: $198,364
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska: $81,134
Wiyot Tribe: $198,704