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Saving Native Languages  andre cramblit
 Jun 21, 2008 11:19 PDT 

Sign the Petition to Help Revitalize Native American Languages

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/help-revitalize-native-american-languages


Your help is urgently needed to save and revitalize Native American
languages. Among the more than 300 original languages once spoken in the
U.S. only 155-175 are spoken today. Scholars estimate that only 20 of
these remaining indigenous languages are being widely transmitted to
today's Native children. Fully 70 languages could vanish within the
next 10 years without immediate and significant funding for tribal
language programs.

The National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal
leadership coalition says, "Native languages are national treasures that
have served this nation in time of war, with the legendary service of
Native code talkers, and they remain vital part of Native American
culture and identity today. Notably, Native students who are fluent in
both English and their Native language perform substantially better
academically, including on national assessment tests, than Native
students who have not gone through such a program."

Please sign our petition to Congress urging them to support funding for
Native language programs in the FY 2009 Budget of the Administration for
Native Americans, Dept. of Health and Human Services. With its historic
passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation
Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-394), Congress recognized the critical funding
needs of Native language revitalization efforts. The FY 2008 budget
included $2million in Esther Martinez Language Preservation Act funding;
however several hundred tribes must compete for these 25-45 grants.

JOIN CULTURAL SURVIVAL AND THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO SAVE NATIVE
LANGUAGES IN SENDING THE MESSAGE TO CONGRESS THAT REVITALIZING NATIVE
LANGUAGES IS CRITICAL TO NATIVE CULTURAL IDENTITY, SPIRITUALITY AND
SURVIVAL, AS WELL AS TO THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS OF NATIVE STUDENTS.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear Honorable Congresswo/man [Name];

Among the more than 300 Native American languages once spoken in the
U.S. only about 155-175 remain today, and fully 135 are only spoken by
elders within Native American communities. This means only 20 languages
are still being actively transmitted to younger generations. Scholars
have estimated that within ten years over 70 of these languages will
cease to exist. Tribal language revitalization programs urgently need a
substantial increase in funding for the Esther Martinez Native American
Languages Preservation Act (P.L. 109-394).

Young Native Americans across the U.S. are demanding the right to learn
the language of their ancestors to honor their cultural and spiritual
beliefs and build healthy foundations for future generations of Native
peoples.

The National Alliance to Save Native Languages, an intertribal
leadership coalition says, %u201CNative languages are national treasures
that have served this nation in time of war, with the legendary service
of Native code talkers, and they remain a vital part of Native American
culture and identity today. Furthermore, Native students who are fluent
in both English and their Native language perform substantially better
academically, including on national assessment tests.%u201D

I am writing you to urge you to support and increase funding for Native
American language revitalization programs in the FY 2009 Budget as the
$2million in aid allotted through in FY 2008 funded only 25-45 language
grants through the Administration for Native Americans, which hundreds
of tribes must compete to receive.

Please join the National Alliance to Save Native Languages and Cultural
Survival in working to increase federal funding to a minimum of $10
million to keep Native American languages, our common national cultural
heritage, from falling silent.

Thank you for your consideration

Respectfully,
{Your Name}
{Mailing Address}
	
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