Help Revitalize Native American languages!

Your help is urgently needed to save and revitalize Native American languages. Among the more than 300 original languages once spoken in the U.S. only 155-175 are spoken today.  Scholars estimate that only 20 of these remaining indigenous languages are being widely transmitted to today's Native children.  Fully 70 languages could vanish within the next 10 years without immediate and significant funding for tribal language programs. 


The National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal leadership coalition says, "Native languages are national treasures that have served this nation in time of war, with the legendary service of Native code talkers, and they remain vital part of Native American culture and identity today.  Notably, Native students who are fluent in both English and their Native language perform substantially better academically, including on national assessment tests, than Native students who have not gone through such a program."


Please sign our petition to Congress urging them to support funding for Native language programs in the FY 2009 Budget of the Administration for Native Americans, Dept. of Health and Human Services.  With its historic passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-394), Congress recognized the critical funding needs of Native language revitalization efforts.  The FY 2008 budget included $2million in Esther Martinez Language Preservation Act funding; however several hundred tribes must compete for these 25-45 grants.


JOIN CULTURAL SURVIVAL AND THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO SAVE NATIVE LANGUAGES IN SENDING THE MESSAGE TO CONGRESS THAT REVITALIZING NATIVE LANGUAGES IS CRITICAL TO NATIVE CULTURAL IDENTITY, SPIRITUALITY AND SURVIVAL, AS WELL AS TO THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS OF NATIVE STUDENTS.  

SAMPLE LETTER:


Dear Honorable Congresswo/man [Name];


Among the more than 300 Native American languages once spoken in the U.S. only about 155-175 remain today, and fully 135 are only spoken by elders within Native American communities.  This means only 20 languages are still being actively transmitted to younger generations.  Scholars have estimated that within ten years over 70 of these languages will cease to exist.  Tribal language revitalization programs urgently need a substantial increase in funding for the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act (P.L. 109-394).


Young Native Americans across the U.S. are demanding the right to learn the language of their ancestors to honor their cultural and spiritual beliefs and build healthy foundations for future generations of Native peoples.


The National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal leadership coalition says, %u201CNative languages are national treasures that have served this nation in time of war, with the legendary service of Native code talkers, and they remain a vital part of Native American culture and identity today. Furthermore, Native students who are fluent in both English and their Native language perform substantially better academically, including on national assessment tests.%u201D


I am writing you to urge you to support and increase funding for Native American language revitalization programs in the FY 2009 Budget as the $2million in aid allotted through in FY 2008 funded only 25-45 language grants through the Administration for Native Americans, which hundreds of tribes must compete to receive.


Please join the National Alliance to Save Native Languages and Cultural Survival in working to increase federal funding to a minimum of $10 million to keep Native American languages, our common national cultural heritage, from falling silent.


Thank you for your consideration


Respectfully,


{Your Name}

{Mailing Address}

SAMPLE LETTER:



Dear Honorable Congresswo/man [Name];



Among the more than 300 Native American languages once spoken in the U.S. only about 155-175 remain today, and fully 135 are only spoken by elders within Native American communities.  This means only 20 languages are still being actively transmitted to younger generations.  Scholars have estimated that within ten years over 70 of these languages will cease to exist.  Tribal language revitalization programs urgently need a substantial increase in funding for the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act (P.L. 109-394).



Young Native Americans across the U.S. are demanding the right to learn the language of their ancestors to honor their cultural and spiritual beliefs and build healthy foundations for future generations of Native peoples.



The National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal leadership coalition says, %u201CNative languages are national treasures that have served this nation in time of war, with the legendary service of Native code talkers, and they remain a vital part of Native American culture and identity today. Furthermore, Native students who are fluent in both English and their Native language perform substantially better academically, including on national assessment tests.%u201D



I am writing you to urge you to support and increase funding for Native American language revitalization programs in the FY 2009 Budget as the $2million in aid allotted through in FY 2008 funded only 25-45 language grants through the Administration for Native Americans, which hundreds of tribes must compete to receive.



Please join the National Alliance to Save Native Languages and Cultural Survival in working to increase federal funding to a minimum of $10 million to keep Native American languages, our common national cultural heritage, from falling silent.



Thank you for your consideration



Respectfully,



{Your Name}


{Mailing Address}

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