WASHINGTON D.C. – The Indian Affairs Office of Indian Economic Development awarded $7 million in grant funds to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes as part of the Living Language Grant Program on June 15. The grant helps document and revitalize Indigenous languages at risk of disappearing due to declining Indigenous Speaker populations.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation received the grant among 45 other tribes and tribal organizations. The Tribe will receive grant funds of $69,789.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is thrilled to be included in the Living language Grant Program,” Principal Chief David Hill said.
“One of our greatest responsibilities as tribal leaders and those serving the Nation is to preserve and promote the most sacred components of our culture. To me, language is at the top of the list, and we’re happy to have all the resources we can find available to keep our Mvskoke language strong and spoken.”
The Grant Program follows an interagency initiative launched by the U.S Department of the Interior Education and Health and Human Services last year. The Initiative’s goal is to preserve, protect and promote the rights and freedoms of Indigenous People to practice and develop their native language.
“Native language preservation has for many years been cited by Indigenous leaders as important to their self-preservation, self-determination, and sovereignty. Native preservation and language revitalization is a critical priority because languages go to the heart of a Tribe’s unique cultural identities, traditions, spiritual beliefs, and self-governance,” Assistant Secretary Newland said.
The Grant Program evaluated 59 applications, totaling $9.37 million in requests to support Tribal programs. These programs document Indigenous Languages or at least build capacity to create preservation programs.
The tribes that were chosen to receive grant funds were chosen based on the extent to which funding would document, preserve or revitalize a Native language. They were also chosen based on the degree to which the language faced extinction and the likelihood that instruction funded would revitalize the language.
Other factors considered included preventing intergenerational disruption and the number of students or tribal members the proposal would benefit.
To view prior coverage on the Mvskoke Language preservation developments, visit https://www.mvskokemedia.com/cmn-adds-new-certificate-programs/.