ABOUT THE COALITION
who we are
The Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs (the Coalition) serves to bring together schools and programs taught through Native American languages under the provisions of the federal Native American Languages Act of 1990 (NALA). The Coalition members include Bureau of Indian Education schools, standard public schools, charter schools, and private schools. The Coalition also includes the full range of education from preschool through to grade 12 and into tertiary education. All members provide education through a Native American language for one half or more of all education in targeted grades. The Coalition represents existing programs in fifteen different states and offers assistance to groups seeking to start programs in these and other states and American territories.
The 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 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.
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
- Abaki Beck (Illinois) - Youth Advocate