Programs will help preserve Native languages, strengthen Native communities

As part of his ongoing efforts to help preserve Native languages, U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently secured grants worth over half a million dollars.

The grants, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, will build and grow Native language programs on three reservations across Montana.

“Native languages are an important part of our state’s cultural history, and are being lost at an alarming rate,” Tester said. “These grants will help folks in Indian Country connect with their history and people, and will ensure these languages don’t disappear forever.”

The grants include $274,920 for Salish Kootenai College, $213,407 for the Crow Language Consortium, and $199,274 for Fort Peck Tribes.

All of the approximately 148 Native languages still spoken in the United States are at risk of extinction within the next 50 to 100 years, unless drastic measures like these grants are taken. Eighty-three percent of these languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers each.

In 2016, Tester introduced the Esther Martinez Native American Language Immersion Student Achievement Act to expand opportunities for Native Americans to establish Native language immersion programs across Indian Country.


  1. Yet one more politician that lacks any understanding of the United States Constitution on his oath of office to support and defend the United States Constitution against illegal statutes enacted by the very same politicians-state and federal. As of the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, there are no more “Indians” within the original meaning of the United States Constitution…only U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” entitled to no more and no less than every other non-Indian U.S./State citizen!
    Senator Tester, “Where is the proclamation ratified by the voters of the United States to amend the United States Constitution to make the health, welfare, safety and benefits of a select group of U.S./State citizens distinguishable because of their Indian ancestry/race?”

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