New grant for Native language preservation

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - President Donald Trump signed a law that extends federal grant programs that are aimed at preserving indigenous languages.

Native Americans dance at the 33rd Annual Black Hills Pow Wow. (KOTA TV)

This new measure will also allow more tribes to participate in these types of conservation programs.

The new law is named after Esther Martinez, a storyteller and language advocate from a New Mexico pueblo.

In South Dakota, these grants will be used to promote native languages and will help solidify cultural identity.

"It' our time to return back to who we are and if they give us the opportunity and make funding available, then that has to repair six generations of the languages, the values, the beliefs, and reintegrate who we are to give us a sense of where we belong, which we belong here in the beginning," said Wendell Yellow Bull.

Currently, many different tribes and associations across the United States are sharing more than 11-million dollars for language preservation and immersion programs that are funded by grants.

See more President Trump signs measure to preserve Native languages