OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Mvskoke Language Department was awarded the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, ANA American Rescue Act Emergency Native Language funds in the amount of $82,609.
During the Sept. National Council Regular Session, the council voted 15-0 to allow the department to expend the funds.
Manager Judy Montiel has been with the department since 2012 and believes this is the first grant the department has received.
According to legislation NCA 21-102, the funds were awarded to increase the number of citizens listening and becoming familiar with the language by listening to elders tell stores in Mvskoke language as well as documenting fluent elders in regards to the pandemic and their predictions of what is to come.
According to Montiel, there were 200 awardees of the grant.
“It was based on fluent speakers and elders that went through the pandemic and the effects that it had in their community, churches, or ceremonial ground,” Montiel said. “They (grantors) want to get a feel on what elders might predict for the future.”
She said the department would be developing a series of eight episodes a year for the next three years in accordance with the grant objectives.
The videos will contain Mvskoke fluent speakers telling their story of the pandemic.
“They want us to broadcast by livestreaming,” Montiel said. “We are doing some things to vamp up our social medias.”
Project Specialist Jordan Squire has played a major role in developing the department’s social media presence.
Squire claimed the grant requires the department to reach out to 22,000 Mvskoke citizens within the three years and social media will help them reach that goal.
The department now has an Instagram and still existing Facebook account.
Montiel and the department will be accepting fluent elders who would be willing to volunteer their time. A total of 24 volunteers are needed to complete the video series for the next three years.
According to Montiel, projects will initiate once the grant funds have been released to the department.
For more information, contact the Mvskoke Language Department at: 918-732-7649.
To view legislation regarding the grant, visit: www.mcnnc.com.