Teach For America Statement on the Introduction of the Bipartisan Esther Martinez Native American Language Preservation Act
NEW YORK, February 7, 2019—The Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act, which supports language immersion programs, language survival schools, and language restoration programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students, was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate on January 30, 2019. This reauthorization would extend funding to 2023 and add more flexibility to help smaller tribes access grant funding, allowing a greater number of students to learn their Native language and contribute to the preservation of their community’s identity, culture, and traditions while developing their own leadership.
“We applaud and support the bipartisan work of Congress to ensure the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act is renewed. We must provide continued funding and resources that support the preservation and protection of this nation’s indigenous languages. Indigenous languages are critical to the cultural identity, traditions, customs and history of Native people and tribes, and teaching indigenous languages is necessary for providing Native students with a wellrounded education, culturally responsive teaching, and curriculum that affirms their identity. Languages unique and spoken only in this hemisphere are the ancestral connection to who we are and the journeys we will take.”
WaziHanska, Oglala Lakota
Sr. Managing Director, Native Alliance Initiative
Teach For America
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence and to lead. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.