MN bill includes $1.25M for Native languages

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St. Paul, MN (AP) –  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed a funding bill that includes $1.25 million for Native language preservation.

The Legacy Act provides $150,000 to the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council to create a working group on Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization and preservation. The bill includes another $550,000 in 2010 and $700,000 in 2011 for Native language grants.

“The first thing is really assessing what’s already out there, as far

as what the tribes are doing. … One of the goals is to inventory what

the tribes are already doing,” Sen. Mary Olson (DFL), who sponsored the

provision, told The Bemidji Pioneer. “Another goal is to be making

recommendations about what the state Department of Education could and

should be doing to facilitate speakers, with a focus on children

learning to speak.”

The working group will be made up of representatives of 11 tribes and other state appointees.