Building upon our resilience through our languages.
Dam(s) have been blocking salmon runs for 80 years on the Columbia River and the salmon still attempt year after year to return to their home to spawn. One day they will return due to their unwavering resilience. Let us emulate the resilience of salmon in our efforts of language and cultural revitalization.
Virtual Conference | November 16-18, 2020
The Administration for Native Americans (ANA), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and U.S. Department of Education (ED) invite you to attend the virtual 2020 National Native American Language Summit.
To help protect our tribal communities from the effects of the current pandemic, this year’s summit will be held virtually.
This year’s theme, “Building Upon Our Resilience Through Our Languages,” supports Native American communities seeking to maintain and revitalize indigenous languages. This Summit will discuss everything from data and evaluation to mentoring and developing teachers, family and community engagement, and more through a mixture of plenary talks and workshops.
The Native American Language Summit is a result of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Native Languages between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. The MOA was signed in 2012 with the intent to work together and encourage programs and projects to include instruction in and preservation of Native languages. The MOA acknowledges the agencies’ mutual interest in preserving, protecting, and promoting the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native American languages. The first Native American Language Summit was held in 2014.
Thirty years ago on October 30, 1990, Congress passed the Native American Languages Act, which recognized, “the status of the cultures and languages of Native Americans is unique and the United States has the responsibility to act together with Native Americans to ensure [their] survival.” The act was amended in 1992 to add a grant program to, “assist Native Americans in assuring the survival and continuing vitality of their languages.” The MOA and Native American Language Summit is only a more recent addition to the line of government policies meant to support the preservation and maintenance of Native Languages.