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Hawai‘i to Receive Funding to Revitalize Native Hawaiian Language

August 9, 2017, 9:29 AM HST
* Updated August 9, 9:32 AM
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Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo Hawaiian Immersion Charter School, June 1, 2017. Crystal Richard photo.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Indian Affairs Committees, announced today that the National Endowment for the Humanities will award $90,000 to the Manoa Heritage Center in Honolulu through a new Native American language revitalization initiative.

The funding, which will be matched dollar for dollar through a partnership with the First Nations Development Institute, will support programs and initiatives that aim to preserve and revitalize Hawaiian language, history and culture.

“Language is fundamental to the identity of Native Hawaiians,” said Sen. Schatz. “This new funding will give us more resources to preserve the language and all aspects of the Native Hawaiian culture that help make our state so unique.”

The Manoa Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. This grant is part of NEH’s Creating Humanities Communities Grant Program which supports grassroots humanities programs by encouraging partnerships and collaborations between local entities.

As a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Sen. Schatz has led federal efforts to support the conservation of Native American languages. In 2015, he authored the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act in order to enhance and integrate native tourism, empower native communities, and expand unique cultural tourism opportunities in the United States. A component of this legislation, which was signed into law last year, directed federal dollars towards Native American language preservation.

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