Language Info

Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Fri Jun 2 18:27:41 UTC 2006


National Indian Education Association
110 Maryland Avenue, N.E.
Suite 104
Washington, D.C. 20002
P: (202) 544-7290 / F: (202) 544-7293

June 2, 2006
Broadcast #06-029


National Indian Education Association Urges Congress to Pass Native  
American Language Immersion Legislation

WASHINGTON – June 2, 2006

President Wilson Issues Unprecedented Call To Action For Indian  
Country To Defend Our Sacred Native Languages

On the heels of his moving testimony to the Senate Committee on  
Indian Affairs concerning the rapid decline of Native languages,  
President Wilson calls for all of Indian Country to rally around  
pending legislation that would support Federal funding for Native  
American Immersion Programs.

Wilson stated that the pending bills represent our best and possibly  
our last hope in revitalizing our Native languages. He also added,

“The fierce urgency of now cannot be overstated. We have denied and  
been denied, through apathy and indifference, the sacred birthright  
of generation after generation of Indian children. This must end. We  
owe our children an opportunity to express themselves in the  
languages used here since the beginning of time. A thousand  
generations have carried on these languages before us, and now it  
comes down to this defining place in history where we will decide if  
our languages and cultures are to be relegated to the cluttered dust  
bin of history; or if history will record that when Indian Country  
was faced with this decisive moment, it chose to act, it chose to  
stand up, it chose to carry on, and it chose to honor its sacred  
legacy that so many lived and died for. Our generation truly has a  
date with destiny and on July 12th we will take together, with one  
motion, a significant step toward destiny. We will speak together  
with one voice, saying that Native languages have a place in Indian  
Education and Indian Education is incomplete without inclusion of our  
languages.”

Under the leadership of Joe Garcia, President of the National  
Congress of American Indians, Native language revitalization has  
become NCAI’S number one education priority. Other national Tribal  
leaders have weighed in as well. Tex Hall, the co-chair of the NCAI  
and NIEA Tribal Leader’s Education Task Force, added,

“Here’s a mission we actually can accomplish. It’s time for Indian  
Country to show the rest of the Nation just how proud we are of our  
culture. We can do this by getting Congress to pass a Native American  
Language Protection Bill.”

Events surrounding the Summit include an opening assembly on Capitol  
Hill from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The assembly will feature  
Congressional guests, a special presentation for the Code Talkers,  
and dissemination of advocacy materials on the pending Immersion  
Bills. Hill visits to key Congressional Offices will take place from  
12:30 to 5:00 p.m., and a staff briefing will be held on the Senate  
side in the afternoon. The Summit will conclude with an evening  
reception at the Museum of The American Indian co-hosted by the  
National Indian Gaming Association honoring the Code Talkers, and the  
Native Language Revitalization movement.

The Summit is free, but registration is required. This will help us  
secure appropriate Hill visits for our members.

We urge our elders, educators, tribal leaders, cultural  
practitioners, youth, veterans, and all those concerned with the  
future of Native Languages to attend.

Updated information will be made known as details are worked out such  
as hotel information, speakers in attendance, and exact locations. A  
flier, in text format, will follow this broadcast. A formatted flier  
will be posted on our website for downloading, printing and  
dissemination.

For more information, please contact NIEA at 202-544-7290 or at  
niea at niea.org.
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