Native Language Programs Awarded Grants through NEH

Three Native American language projects have been announced to have received funding from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH). One such project titled “Translating Cherokee Manuscripts” has been a grant of awarded $99,957 from the National Endowment for Humanities. The project is led by Ellen Cushman as the project director and Julia Flanders as co-project director at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. The project aims for, ” the further development of user interfaces for collective translation of the collections in the Digital Archive for American Indian Languages Preservation and Perseverance (DAILP), a digital archive of Cherokee-language manuscripts and lexical resources.” The program applies new technologies and digital methods to innovative humanities research and public programs through development of a digital archive of Cherokee manuscripts and lexical resources to facilitate collective translation and study of the Cherokee language.

The project was one of many that was received a portion of their funding through NEH’s A More Perfect Union initiative, designed to demonstrate and enhance the critical role the humanities play in our nation and support projects that will help Americans commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

Likewise out of Northeastern University comes a project titled Cherokee Lifeways: Hidden Literacies of Collective Action. The project is also led by Ellen Cushman and is focused on research and writing leading to a history of the everyday life and philosophy of Cherokee people using a corpus of newly translated Cherokee-language materials. The program was awarded $30,000, and also received funding through NEH’s A More Perfect Union initiative.

Another project based out of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colarado headed by Deanne Grant and Janine Fitzgerald was awared $148,400. The project is titled Fort Lewis College Native Language Revitalization Institute and aims to design and implementation of a Fort Lewis College summer Native American language institute.

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