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Preserving the Native Languages in Montana

An effort is underway to record and archive Native American languages in Montana for the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine.
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A $2 million grant from the Montana legislature created the Montana Indian Language Preservation Pilot Program last year.

That program is now working on recording and archiving endangered Native languages, reported KXLH.com.

The State Tribal Economic Development Commission is leading the program with the help of Montana tribes and the Montana Historical Society.

“What we’re trying to do now is get it electronic—make it more feasible, make it more accessible to everybody—not just in the schools here,” project coordinator Ray Cichosz, Gros Ventre, told KXLH.

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The goal is to have a website where any Gros Ventre in any state could go and find resources to help them learn about their culture.

“They could go on to the website, they could go click on links. Say there’s Gros Ventre living in Wyoming, Washington, California and they’re always wondering, ‘My grandma was so and so. Where do I come from?’” Cichosz told KXLH.

“We’re just trying to preserve it for our future generations so that they will be able to pass it on to their grandchildren and so on,” Terry Brockie, a Gros Ventre language instructor, told KXLH.