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NIEA 2014 Convention & Trade Show
October 15-18, 2014
Anchorage, Alaska





Native Language Immersion Legislation

NIEA President Agoyo Releases Statement: Calls for  Immediate Congressional Action   

On Tuesday, September 16th, NIEA President Pamela Agoyo released a statement calling for immediate congressional action on Native language immersion legislation - Senate Bills 1948 and 2299. NIEA recently sent a joint organizational letter representing more than 25 tribes and organizations calling for Congress to act. Now, as tribal leaders convene in Washington, DC, NIEA is partnering with the National Congress of American Indians to make sure Congress understands the importance of expanding Native language immersion programs. President Agoyo called for action, stating that:

Every Native child should have the right to be educated in his or her own language. Today, we have the opportunity to make that a reality. Critical legislation is moving through Congress that will provide more Native children access to an education grounded in their language and culture. We must send a clear message to Congress that they pass  S. 1948  - the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act - and  S. 2299 - a bill to reauthorize the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act - in order to provide more opportunities for Native students to  achie ve.

A sound education, rooted in cultural and linguistic traditions, is our most lasting memorial to the past as well as our means to secure the future. We must act now. Together, we can build this memorial so that our young people have access to a successful future rooted in their sacred customs and languages. We must act now to support language immersion learning and Native education in order to secure that future.

As NIEA works to move legislation prior to our our annual convention , we hope you will utilize our  NIEA Advocacy Action Guide to advocate for Native education in your home district. The guide provides you all the tools and resources needed to advocate successfully on behalf of your students, schools, and communities. As NIEA members, be sure to discuss key topics included in your Advocacy Guide, such as:

  • FY 2015 funding levels;
  • Native language immersion programs;
  • Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) reform; and
  • Your local issues and concerns.

We all must fight for our Native students to ensure they have access to an equitable education steeped in language and culture. Advocacy is a job that never ends and if we do it well, whether in Washington or back home, we honor the mission of NIEA and our combined purpose to provide comprehensive education opportunities to Native students. Together we can make a difference for our students.  

Advocacy Material Links

For questions or concerns regarding your engagement work, please contact NIEA Policy Associate Clint J. Bowers at                                  _____________________________


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