Multi-Agency Initiative to Protect and Preserve Native Languages
Departments of the Interior, Education, and Health & Human Services Launch Multi-Agency Initiative to Protect and Preserve Native Languages
Interagency efforts will align federal language preservation programs to ensure the viability of Native languages
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Departments of the Interior, Education and Health and Human Services launched a new interagency initiative today to preserve, protect, and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native languages.
The announcement was made as part of the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which brings government officials and leaders from federally recognized Tribes together to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
The three agencies joined five others in signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to further the Native American Languages Act of 1990 by establishing new goals and programs that support the protection and preservation of Native languages spoken by federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, Native Hawaiians, and other Native American groups in the United States.
“The cornerstone of any culture or community is its language. Languages are where oral histories are passed down, knowledge is shared, and bonds are formed. As part of our commitment to strengthening and supporting Indigenous communities, the Interior Department is resolute in its efforts to ensuring Native languages are preserved and protected,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
You can read the full press release here.