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Native American Language Grants

Native Languages of the Americas has a small amount of funding available to make grants supporting the survival of Amerindian languages. We can currently support projects at a level of $10,000 or less. Small grants ($1000 or less) are the most likely for us to be able to fund, since many of our own resources come from individual donations and so the amount of money we have available to spend often changes from month to month. If you would like to see the projects we have funded so far, here is the list of our past Language Preservation grant awards.

We are always able to provide free web hosting, bandwidth, and other Internet services to indigenous language projects; just send an email if you are interested in those services. If you are looking for a grant of money for a Native American language maintenance program, please read the details on this page.

Our Grant Program

We make grants only to people who are working to preserve indigenous languages of the Americas.
We cannot support general cultural or historical preservation projects. We cannot support theoretical linguistics work unless it has a strong language maintenance component. We cannot support religious projects. We can support projects related to any indigenous language of the Western Hemisphere, but because so much of our funding comes specifically from US sources, we have more money available for projects within the United States than for projects in other countries.
All proposals to work with a living language must include the involvement of native speakers of that language.

Application Guidelines

You can email us a grant application or send one by mail to

Laura Redish, Director
Native Languages of the Americas
8400 Normandale Lake Boulevard, Suite 920
Minneapolis MN 55437

We have no formal or academic grant requirements. Just answer the following ten questions:

1) Your name, contact information, and tribal affiliation (if any)
2) The language you will be working with
3) What is the project you are proposing?
4) How will your project help the survival of this language?
5) How much will this project cost? How much of that cost are you asking us to pay for?
6) How will you be spending that money?
7) If you are working with a living language, who are the native speakers that will be involved with the project?
8) If you are working with a dormant language (a language that has no native speakers today), how do you intend to overcome that challenge?
9) Is this a tribal project, an intertribal project, an academic project, the personal labor of love of one native family? Who will be doing this work, and why is it important to you?
10) When the project is finished, how will you judge its success?

Types Of Projects We Fund

Here are some examples of the types of projects we are interested in supporting. These are just examples. We will also consider other types of projects as long as they are directly addressing Native American language preservation. No request is too small--we consider $50 worth of recording software or $200 worth of children's textbooks to be money well-spent.

1) Language classes or language immersion programs for children or adults
2) The creation of language learning books, tapes, CDs, multimedia, or computer games
3) The audio or video recording of elders speaking endangered languages
4) The production of dictionaries or texts written in Native American languages
5) The promotion of literature, song, or other living usage of Native American languages
6) Language clubs, elder connections, or other programs to encourage youth to use their language
7) Native-language websites, chatrooms, or online audio recordings
8) Intertribal language standardization or maintenance meetings between different tribes sharing the same language
9) Serious efforts to revive or reconstruct Native American languages that are no longer spoken
10) Tribally commissioned linguistic research

Thank you for your interest.

We cannot promise funding to everyone who deserves it, but if you think we may be able to help you, we look forward to hearing from you.

Laura Redish, Director
Orrin Lewis, Tribal Coordinator




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