Montana Public Radio

Montana Indian Language Preservation Program

The Montana Department of Commerce has awarded $700,000 in grants across eight tribal governments for tribal language revitalization efforts. 

State budget cuts mean the Montana Indian Language Program has less than half the funding it had in previous years to try to stop the rapid decline of native language speakers. State lawmakers got an update from people who work with that program Thursday.

Casey Lozar, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes who also works as an advisor on tribal policy in the Department of Commerce, says there has become an urgency to their work in the language preservation program.

Lawmakers Consider Expanding Montana's Native Language Preservation Program

Jan 5, 2017
Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy (D), HD-32.
Mike Albans

Lawmakers in Helena are looking at two bills that deal with Indian language preservation and education.

House Bill 37 seeks to add song to Montana’s Indian language preservation program, which protects indigenous spoken, written, and sign language.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Tribal leaders from across Montana gathered at the state capitol today as Governor Steve Bullock signed two bills designed to preserve native languages.