Hawai'i State News

More than $2M in new federal funding to revitalize, promote native languages

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U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the committee’s vice chairman, announced more than $2.2 million in new fiscal year 2023 grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Native American Language Resource Center Act, legislation led by the senators and enacted earlier this year.

“Culturally-based instruction is critical to promoting and revitalizing Native languages,” said Chairman Schatz in a press release Tuesday. “This funding will directly support educational institutions like the University of Hawai‘i in developing resources and fostering collaboration to promote the use of Native American languages across the country.”

“Native languages are key to understanding our history, culture, families, and communities,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “I am pleased to welcome these awards to a consortium and other recipients, including Alaska language leaders, to create Native American Language Resource Centers. I was proud to co-lead the legislation creating this program with Chairman Schatz in order to promote the important work of Native language revitalization.”

The new grants will support Native American language use, revitalization, and instruction to advance the goals of the Native American Languages Act of 1990, which recognizes the inherent rights and freedoms of Native Americans to use their Indigenous languages. The full list of Native American Language Resource Center Act grant recipients includes:

  • University of Hawai‘i in partnership with University of Alaska Southeast and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University for a National Center
  • Little Priest Tribal College for a Regional Center (Central)
  • University of Oregon for a Regional Center (Northwest)
  • University of Arizona in partnership with Tohono O’odham Community College, San Carlos Apache College, and Diné College for a Regional Center (West).


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