HB 216 Passes Making Alaska the Second State to Officially Recognize Indigenous Languages

An excerpt from KTOO.org:

Supporters of a bill to make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages organized a 15 hour sit-in protest at the Capitol on Sunday. Their dedication paid off early this morning, when the measure passed the Alaska Senate on an 18-2 vote.
House Bill 216 passed the Alaska House of Representatives last week, 38-0.
It now heads to Governor Sean Parnell for his signature.

Click here to read the full article.


Register now to join NIEA and Dr. Running Horse Livingston for the Common Core 101 webinar and learn about Native culture and language in respect to the Standards.

This is a great opportunity for Native-serving educators to receive information on curriculum development as well as tribal leaders and education directors to hear ideas about prospective collaborative work in order to ensure the local tribal and Native identity is represented in their schools.

Seating is limited so register today!

Date: April 22, 2014
Time: 5:00PM- 6:00PM (EST)

Click here to register!

For any questions regarding April’s webinar or any upcoming webinar in this year’s series, please contact Diana Cournoyer, NIEA Program Manager, at dcournoyer@niea.org.

Senate Indian Affairs Committee to Host Listening Session on Native Languages

MISSOULA, MONTANA – The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will be hosting a public listening session on Native language revitalization in Indian country at the University of Montana on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

Senior staff from the Committee will be present to listen and discuss how Native language instruction is helping children in tribal communities.

The hearing comes on the heels of Chairman Senator Jon Tester’s introduction of the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act, which establishes a grant program to fund Native language programs throughout Indian country.

“We are racing against the clock to save and revitalize our sacred Native American languages,” Senator Tester commented. “Preserving Native languages will strengthen Indian culture and increase student confidence – leading to greater academic achievement and a stronger economy.”

Committee staff will hear from a panel of experts and then take public comment.


Listening Session on Native language revitalization in Indian country


Thursday, April 17, 2014
5:00 – 7:00 pm


University of Montana
Payne Family Native American Center
Missoula, Montana

The Durango Herald: Native Americans may soon be eligible for in-state tuition

Here is the article, and an excerpt:

DENVER – Native American college students whose tribes have historic ties to Colorado would get in-state tuition at any public college under a bill the House passed Tuesday.

Although most representatives applauded the idea, it faced opposition concerning its costs. It passed 39-25, with Democrats and two Republicans in favor. Montezuma County’s representative, Don Coram, R-Montrose, voted against it. The bill still has to pass the Senate.

Fort Lewis College already allows free tuition to any member of an Native American tribe, and the policy will not change even if the bill passes. Although the Durango-area college would not be affected, it figured prominently in Tuesday’s debate over the bill.

“Fort Lewis does an incredible job of taking care of our population of Native American students,” said Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen.

She recited a long list of resources and clubs devoted to Native American students on the Skyhawks’ campus.

“The amount of work and the quality of work Fort Lewis is doing is far greater than what I believe any other college would be able to provide,” she said.

She also balked at the cost of the tuition discount.

But the sponsor, Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, said Colorado owes the bill to young tribal members because of a national history of forced removal and policies that kept Native Americans impoverished.

He also argued Native American students should have the option to study anywhere in Colorado, like the aviation program at Metro State or with a Nobel Prize-winning professor at the University of Colorado.

“Yes, Fort Lewis College is a fantastic college; there’s no doubt about that. But not all Native students want to go to Fort Lewis College,” Salazar said.

The bill was introduced in January, but it waited for a vote until now while legislators figured out whether they had the money to fund it. The estimated cost is $5.3 million a year. For out-of-state Native students at the University of Colorado-Boulder, passage of the bill would mean a yearly tuition discount of nearly $20,000 off the $32,300 bill for out-of-state tuition and fees.

The bill would apply to 48 federally recognized tribes. Most residents of the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute reservations would not be affected because they already qualify for in-state tuition.

Interior Secretary Jewell to Deliver Commencement Address at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Secretary Jewell to Deliver Commencement Address at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On Thursday, April 17, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will address the 2014 graduating class of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute(SIPI), a National Indian Community College and Land Grant Institution located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We are honored to have Secretary Jewell join us for commencement, as we celebrate this important milestone in the lives of our students and their families,” said Dr. Sherry Allison, SIPI President.

SIPI, established in 1971, provides career technical training and transfer degree programs to students from the nation’s 566 federally recognized tribes.

WHO: Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior
WHAT: 2014 SIPI Commencement Address
WHERE: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Gymnasium
9169 Coors Blvd., NW
Albuquerque, NM
WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 2014
10:00 a.m. MDT
MEDIA: Media wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP here by 5:00 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, April 16.