Updated: Jan 15, 2020
The language community calls on its advocates to get Esther Martinez Across Finish-Line in the House. (Scroll to the bottom to TAKE ACTION).
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council for Languages and International Studies is asking all concerned language advocates to urge their House Representative to become a cosponsor to the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act.
Named after the late storyteller and Tewa language advocate, Esther Martinez strengthens Tribally-developed Native American language revitalization programs across the country. As we reported earlier this month, the Senate has already passed (unanimously) an identical version of the bill.
H.R. 912 would:
Reauthorize funding for these vital language grants program for Native American communities until 2024;
Expand eligibility for smaller-sized Tribal language programs (from min. 10 to 5 students required); and
Allow both programs to offer longer grant periods (from 3 to 4 & 5 years).
The Senate has already acted without dissent. Now, we need your help to get Esther's legacy across the finish-line in the House of Representatives. Urge your member of Congress to sign on to H.R. 912 today!
STEP 1: WHO IS YOUR REP?
You can find your representative's contact information using this directory: www.house.gov/representatives
STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR TALKING POINTS/LETTER
Below are suggested talking points to help you draft a letter or use on a phone call:
Hello, my name is ________________. I live in _________________. And I am calling/writing to you today to urge my representative to support the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act. (H.R. 912)
The Esther Martinez bill is critical to revitalizing native languages and communities. These languages act as a torch, passed on from generation to generation, honoring the culture, the history, and the resiliency of Native communities.
Unfortunately, research suggests that many Native languages will face extinction in the coming decades without action.
This bill (H.R.912) reauthorizes and strengthens the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Program Grants through 2024.
As a language advocate, I believe that languages are more than a means of communication; they are the cornerstone of our tradition and culture. By revitalizing languages, we also invest in rebuilding connections between generations of Native Americans and promoting higher academic achievement outcomes among Native youth.
Thank you for your time and commitment to Native American Language revitalization efforts.