ABOUT THE NATIONAL COALITION

who we are

The National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs (National Coalition) brings together schools and programs that utilize Native American languages as the medium of instruction under the provisions of the federal Native American Languages Act of 1990 (NALA).  Native American language medium schools or programs (or immersion programs as they are sometimes called) educate students through a Native American language.

National Coalition members programs include a wide variety of jurisdictions, including, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, state public schools, charter schools, and private non-profit schools.  National Coalition member schools range from preschool programs, elementary schools, secondary schools and tertiary education.  National Coalition members are currently in fifteen different states. We offer assistance to new groups seeking to start programs.

The National Coalition is proud of the work of Native American language schools and programs.  The languages used in these schools are the heritage not only of the indigenous peoples of this country, but are the heritage of all Americans unique to only this country.  The languages used in our schools are among the same languages used by Native Americans code talkers and others in serving the United States and protecting all Americans.  These languages are a primary strength upon which to build better futures academically, socially, and economically through them as well as strengthening the distinctive rights of freedom to use a distinctive official language of a sovereign government of a tribe, Alaska Native village, a state, or territory.

The National Coalition represents a broad range of languages recognized as Native American languages including among others: Ojibwe, Mohawk, Cherokee, Lakota, Navajo, Shoshone, Salish, Central Alaskan Yup’ik, and Hawaiian.

our leadership

The National Coalition's steering committee includes Native advocates with decades of experience with Native American language schools, immersion education and advocacy:

  • Leslie Harper (Minnesota) - President

  • Namaka Rawlins (Hawaii) - Vice-President

  • Brooke Ammann (Wisconsin) - Steering committee member

  • Rosalyn LaPier (Montana) - Steering committee member

  • Pila Wilson (Hawaii) - Steering committee member

our members

The National Coalition has members in: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaiʻi, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

contact us

Contact us at ncnalsp@gmail.com or find us on Facebook

National Coalition members in 2014 in Hilo, Hawai’i.  Front Row: Leslie Harper(Ojibwe, Minnesota), LaRae Wiley (Salish, Washington), Sally Samson (Yupʻik Ayaprun Elitnaurvik, Alaska), Renissa McLaughlin (Eastern Band Cherokee, North Carolina), Terrie Kinsey (Sauk, Oklahoma), & Holly Davis (Cherokee, Oklahoma).  Mid Row: Pila Wilson (Hawaiʻi), Florian Johnson (Navajo, Arizona), Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/Metis, Montana), Brooke Ammann (Ojibwe, Wisconsin), Kathy Cole (Grand Ronde, Oregon), & Audra Platero (Navajo, Arizona).  Back Row: Jeremiah Maylee, Burnett Whiteplume (Arapaho, Wyoming), Kevin Fields (Seminole, Oklahoma), Nāmaka Rawlins (Hawaiʻi), & Sacheen Whitetail Cross (Lakota, North Dakota).

National Coalition members in 2014 in Hilo, Hawai’i.

Front Row: Leslie Harper(Ojibwe, Minnesota), LaRae Wiley (Salish, Washington), Sally Samson (Yupʻik Ayaprun Elitnaurvik, Alaska), Renissa McLaughlin (Eastern Band Cherokee, North Carolina), Terrie Kinsey (Sauk, Oklahoma), & Holly Davis (Cherokee, Oklahoma).

Mid Row: Pila Wilson (Hawaiʻi), Florian Johnson (Navajo, Arizona), Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/Metis, Montana), Brooke Ammann (Ojibwe, Wisconsin), Kathy Cole (Grand Ronde, Oregon), & Audra Platero (Navajo, Arizona).

Back Row: Jeremiah Maylee, Burnett Whiteplume (Arapaho, Wyoming), Kevin Fields (Seminole, Oklahoma), Nāmaka Rawlins (Hawaiʻi), & Sacheen Whitetail Cross (Lakota, North Dakota).