WRITE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA!
URGE HIM TO SIGN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ON NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION! This is our best hope for providing Native American communities who are working to pass their languages on to future generations.
In 2010, senior White House staff met with leaders from Native American communities across the country who proposed a Final Executive Order on Native American Language Revitalization, which has now been drafted. If signed by President Obama, agencies of the U.S. government would be directed to ensure that their policies, procedures, and functions support community-based language revitalization. It would compel governmental agencies to follow through on the promises of the Native American Languages Act and the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act.
In the fall of 2010, the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution in support of this initiative. In the winter of 2011, the Linguistic Society of America passed a similar resolution. This letter-writing campaign is our follow up on these actions.
Let’s flood the White House with letters and let them know that this legislation is important! Write today! ASK OTHERS TO DO SO TOO!
Here are three ways to write to President Obama on this issue:
SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE, AND REALLY FAST:
- Click on this link to submit an email to the White House:
- Fill out the form. In the drop-down list for the Subject box, select ‘Education’.
- Copy and paste the letter below. Put your name at the end.
- At the bottom of the page, type in the phrase given to you in the red box, press send, and you are done!
- Copy the letter below into a Word document.
- Type the date at the top of the letter.
- Print it out and sign it.
- Mail it to the President’s address at the top of the letter.
- Write your own letter in your own words. Let President Obama and the White House know why this issue is important to you!
- Use the email link above or the mailing address below to send it to the President.
Letter to President Obama
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to urge you to sign the Draft Executive Order on Native American Language Revitalization. This Executive Order is the most important piece of legislation on Native American languages in the history of our nation. It will finally fulfill the promises of the 1990 Native American Languages Act and the 2006 Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act.
This action cannot wait! Half of all Native American languages may cease to be spoken in the next few years. Many Native American language communities have been working for decades developing immersion schools, preparing materials, and constructing curricula, but they often lack access to the educational training, technical infrastructure, and other resources that will lead to success. Government policies can impede their work, rather than support and promote it. The Executive Order drafted by your White House represents the turning point. It will give Native American communities the best chance possible to pass their languages on to future generations.
Languages are critically important to the identity of our Native American citizens. They embody cultural and spiritual values and strengthen communities. Children who are exposed to positive knowledge about their heritage do better in all other aspects of their lives, in school and beyond. In addition, the languages have value of their own: they hold biological, medicinal, and traditional knowledge and they represent a distinct way of conceptualizing the world around us. They are a tremendous cultural and intellectual resource and a rich part of our American heritage.
As President of the United States, you have the opportunity and the responsibility to act as a steward of our nation’s resources. Signing the Executive Order on Native American Language Revitalization will be a historic act, a governmental validation of the importance of the Native American people, and of their cultural and linguistic contributions to our great nation. I urge you to take action on this immediately.