Native language revitalization bill moves to full U.S. Senate
A bill that supports the revitalization of Native American languages has moved to the full U.S. Senate.
According to a news release from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, she and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall introduced the bill (S. 256 Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act) to improve a grant program that funds language learning.
Four tribes in Alaska currently receive funding from that grant program:
- Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska;
- Chickaloon Native Village;
- Cook Inlet Tribal Council Inc.;
- and Yakutat Tlingit Tribes.
Senate Indian Affairs Cmte unanimously advanced the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act (I introduced w/ @SenatorTomUdall) to support Native American language revitalization programs for consideration by the full Senate. https://t.co/vwiGUsvNP4 pic.twitter.com/bAwGStuq4q— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) February 9, 2019
The bill also reauthorizes the Native American Languages Preservation Act through fiscal year 2024. It also makes it easier for smaller Alaska Native communities to receive funding for language revitalization.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and now goes to the Senate.