Indian Affairs Awards $5.7M in Living Languages Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Indian Affairs Office of Indian Economic Development has awarded $5.723 million in Living Languages Grant Program funding to 20 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations. The awards range in value from $200,000 to $300,000 per year for three years.

The Living Languages Grant Program provides an opportunity for tribes to receive funding to document and revitalize languages that are at risk of disappearing because of a declining Native-speaker population. For more than 150 years, Native languages in the U.S. have been subjected to suppression and elimination from a variety of factors, such as federal boarding and other types of schools that forced American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children to forgo speaking the language of their peoples.

“Living Languages Grant Program funding supports tribal communities in restoring and revitalizing their traditional languages, thereby preserving the essence of their cultural identities and sovereignty,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Investing in Native language revitalization is just one part of our all-of-government approach to addressing the harms caused by federal policies of the past, such as Federal Indian Boarding School, which actively worked to suppress Native languages and cultures.”

The Living Languages Grant Program’s focus for fiscal year 2024 is on Native language immersion projects that support a cohesive tribal community-approach through collaborative instruction based on current language immersion models. This year’s funding is intended for projects that provide an “all-of-community” language program with measurable outcomes which will be achieved within three years.

The awards represent a long-term federal commitment to a comprehensive approach for revitalizing Indigenous communities with a framework built on the draft 10-Year National Plan on Native Language Revitalization and its four foundational pillars of awareness, recognition, integration and support.

The award recipients and amounts are:

  • Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK: $300,000
  • Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, McLoud, OK: $300,000
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Bayfield, WI: $300,000
  • Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Reno, NV: $300,000
  • Sac & Fox Nation, Stroud, OK: $300,000
  • Igiugig Village, Igiugig, AK: $299,999
  • Sitting Bull College, Fort Yates, ND: $299,928
  • Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Coos Co., OR: $299,900
  • Metlakatla Indian Community, Metlakatla, AK: $299,900
  • Modoc Nation, Miami, OK: $299,807
  • Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Anadarko, OK: $299,279
  • Kalispel Indian Community, Cusick, WA: $298,552
  • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule, SD: $296,273
  • Lummi Tribe, Bellingham, WA: $296,000
  • Bundled Arrows Inc., Niagara Falls, NY: $288,098
  • Shawnee Tribe, Miami, OK: $280,200
  • Tribal Government of St. Paul Island, St. Paul Island, AK: $277,500
  • Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes, Juneau, AK: $265,920
  • San Carlos Apache Tribal Council, San Carlos, AZ: $219,647
  • Quechan Tribe, Yuma, AZ: $201,997

The Office of Indian Economic Development administers the Living Languages Grant Program, which is a competitive discretionary program, through its Division of Economic Development.