Native language-immersion program grants available

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/08/2018 04:00 PM
LONGMONT, Colo. – The First Nations Development Institute is accepting applications for grants under its Native Language-Immersion Initiative.

First Nations will award about 12 grants of up to $90,000 each to build the capacity of and directly support Native language-immersion and culture-retention programs.

Under the initiative, First Nations is seeking to build a dialogue and a community of practice around Native language-immersion programs and consensus on and momentum for Native language programs.

The effort is made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lannan Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation and the NoVo Foundation. The initiative includes American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian language programs.

The request for proposals can be found at https://firstnations.org/grantmaking/2018NLII.

It contains information on eligibility, the application process, grant requirements, selection criteria, allowable activities and more.

The application deadline is March 23. Eligibility is limited to U.S.-based tribal government programs, tribal 7871 entities, Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and Native-controlled community organizations with a fiscal sponsor.

According to First Nations, there are currently about 150 Native languages spoken in the U.S., many of them spoken only by a small number of elders. Without intervention, many of these languages are expected to become extinct within the next 50 to 100 years, which means a significant loss of cultural heritage, according to First Nations.

These grants can support curriculum development, technology access, and recruitment and training of teachers, First Nations states. Language retention and revitalization programs have been recognized as providing key benefits to Native American communities by boosting educational achievement and student retention rates, according to First Nations.

Through this initiative, First Nations officials seek to stem the loss of Indigenous languages and cultures by supporting new generations of Native American language speakers and establishing infrastructure and models for Native language-immersion programs that may be replicated in other communities.

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