November 23rd, 2021 | Multilingual

On Nov. 15, a group of United States government agencies launched a new initiative geared to protect and preserve Native American languages that have been historically spoken in the country.

A total of eight agencies, led by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health & Human Services, have signed a memorandum of agreement which will build upon the Native American Languages Act of 1990. The initiative will encourage the use of and development of languages indigenous to the country, and set new goals for the education of Native American languages throughout the country.

“The cornerstone of any culture or community is its language. Languages are where oral histories are passed down, knowledge is shared, and bonds are formed. As part of our commitment to strengthening and supporting Indigenous communities, the Interior Department is resolute in its efforts to ensuring Native languages are preserved and protected,” said Deb Haaland, the secretary of the Department of the Interior.