WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S. 256, the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act.
“Native languages remain a vital part of not only tribal identity and culture, but our nation’s history as well,” said Hoeven. “The passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act reaffirms Congress’ commitment to supporting native languages and provides the opportunity for tribal communities to preserve their linguistic heritage and traditions. Now that the bill has been passed by Congress, it will go to the President’s desk for his signature.”
The Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act aims to ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages by providing strong funding for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024. This bill also reduces the minimum number of enrollees needed for educational programs to benefit from the grant program.
On January 29, 2019, S. 256 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and referred to the Committee. The Committee passed the bill by voice vote on February 6, 2019 and it was approved by the full Senate on June 28, 2019.
The legislation is cosponsored by Senators: Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).