HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce today awarded a total of $712,500 through the Montana Indian Language Program to the eight tribal governments in Montana to support language revitalization efforts.
The Montana Indian Language Program works to protect American Indian cultural integrity by recognizing that languages spoken, written, or in the form of sign language are vital to the identities of tribal nations and the state. Funding for the program comes from the state’s main budget bill, HB 2, which the 2019 Montana Legislature passed last year.
“Encouraging efforts to protect tribal languages is an important part of respecting the cultures of tribes in Montana,” said Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice. “These funds invest in ongoing, critical efforts to support languages in Indian Country.”
Each tribal government will receive $89,062.50 for the 2019-2020 biennium.
“On the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, the Montana Indian Language Program (MILP) has brought together language and culture specialists from five Reservation districts,” said Dr. Richard Littlebear, president of Chief Dull Knife College, Northern Cheyenne Tribe. “The MILP has provided opportunities for camaraderie for specialists who are passionate in their pursuit of teaching their own language and culture.”
Funds will be awarded to the following organizations:
- Blackfeet Nation, Blackfeet Early Childhood Center, $89,062.50
- Chippewa Cree Tribe, Stone Child College, $89,062.50
- Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Kootenai Culture Committee, $44,531.25
- Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Selis Qlispe Culture Committee, $44,531.25
- Crow Nation, Little Big Horn College, $50,000.00
- Crow Nation, Crow Education Department, $39,062.50
- Fort Belknap Indian Community, Fort Belknap Language Preservation Program, $89,062.50
- Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes, Fort Peck Language and Culture Department, $89,062.50
- Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Little Shell Language Program, $89,062.50
- Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Chief Dull Knife College, $89,062.50
Learn more about the Montana Indian Language Program at INDIANCOUNTRY.MT.GOV.