U.S. President Donald Trump signed a measure that extends federal grant applications aimed toward preserving Indigenous languages and expands eligibility so extra tribes can take part.
The president’s signature got here Friday, after the measure cleared the U.S. Home with bipartisan assist. Senate approval got here earlier this 12 months.
The laws was named after Esther Martinez, a standard storyteller and Tewa language advocate from New Mexico’s Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. She died in 2006.
Her household, tribal leaders and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation say re-authorization of the applications by means of 2024 marks a dedication by the federal authorities to maintain Alaska Native and American Indian languages alive.
Dozens of tribes and different teams from Alaska to Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Massachusetts have benefited from the applications through the years. Presently, there are over 40 lively grants totalling greater than $11 million U.S., which might be getting used for language preservation and immersion efforts.
Martinez’s personal pueblo was awarded a grant earlier this 12 months after seeing a decline in fluent Tewa audio system and the rise of English as the first language within the houses of tribal members.
U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat and Laguna Pueblo member who co-chairs the Congressional Native American Caucus, stated applications that assist language preservation are sometimes underfunded.
“Now that our invoice honouring the legacy of Pueblo storyteller and self-taught linguist Esther Martinez is signed into legislation, we are going to transfer ahead on necessary work to revitalize our languages and traditions,” Haaland stated.