Living Language grants awarded to preserve Native American Languages

Assistant Secretary — Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney announced today (Oct. 21st, 2020) that the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) has approved $3 million in Living Languages Grant Program (LLGP) funds to 18 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages to document, preserve, and revitalize Native languages.

“A tribe’s traditional language is the foundation of cultural identity and is essential for the survival of our Native cultures, histories and values,” said Assistant Secretary Sweeney. “I’m proud that Indian Affairs has created an opportunity for language promotion and revitalization. The IEED Living Languages Gants Program is there to support tribal efforts to preserve and actively promote traditional language usage. I congratulate the awardees from this round of funding, and I wish them success in their language preservation programs. I also encourage other tribes to apply during the next Living Language grants funding opportunity.”

Grant submissions were rated on how effectively the language programs 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 tribes were eligible for LLGP grants, grantees can retain tribal organizations, or for-profit and non-profit community groups to perform a grant’s scope of work.

LLGP grantees and amounts funded are:

• Cherokee Nation, OK: $200,000

• Citizen Potawatomi Nation, OK: $200,066

• Comanche Nation, OK: $169,443

• Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana: $198,559

• Douglas Indian Association, AK: $199,645

• Forest County Potawatomi Community, WI: $189,326

• Hydaburg Cooperative Association, AK: $188,430

• Igiugig Village, AK: $138,088

• Lummi Tribe, WA: $168,969

• Makah Indian Tribe, WA: $73,156

• Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, MA: $200,000

• Rosebud Sioux Tribe, SD: $199,829

• Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, AZ: $64,700

• Skokomish Indian Tribe, WA: $185,319

• Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, CA: $131,858

• Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, CO: $191,570

• Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska: $100,717

• Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, CA: $200,000

IEED is administering the Living Languages Grant Program through its Division of Economic Development (DED). Please visit the IEED website for more information about other IEED programs and services.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs advises the Secretary of the Interior on Indian Affairs policy issues, communicates policy to and oversees the programs of the BIA and the BIE, provides leadership in consultations with tribes, and serves as the DOI official for intra- and inter-departmental coordination and liaison within the Executive Branch on Indian matters.

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