Udall seeks language funding

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By Carol A. Clark

As part of his ongoing efforts to preserve ancient American Native languages, Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said $4 million in funding will be included in the final version of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008.The money will go to the Esther Martinez Native American Language ages Program, which Udall and Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M.,  were instrumental in establishing last year in honor of the language preservation pioneer.Martinez, who died in a car accident in 2006 was a well-known storyteller, linguist, and teacher who was a major conservator of the Tewa language of the Northern Pueblos of New Mexico.“This funding will help reverse the alarming trend of disappearing Native American languages,” Udall said in a news release from Washington. “This year, Congress has shown that we recognize the severity of the threat to these languages and that we will help to preserve them for future generations.”Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Gov. Earl N. Salazar explained the importance of this funding during an interview this morning. “Language is the foundation of the Indian world,” Salazar said. “Some concepts do not translate into another language; there are characters, objects and figures that exist in one language that do not exist in another.

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