Community News

Agwadeyësta’ Do:gë:h Receives Esther Martinez Initiative (EMI) Grant

Submitted by Flip White

Agwadeyësta’ Do:gë:h is happy & humbled to announce that we were awarded an Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Esther Martinez Initiative (EMI) grant. The following are the objectives of this 5 year comprehensive, long term language grant:

To serve children up to the age of twelve and in preparation for the upcoming expansion at Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha:

• Two teachers will earn their Montessori certification in Elementary 1 and 2 in years one and carrying over to year two of the grant.

To gain a greater proficiency of the Seneca language:

• Beginning in year one, all Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha language teachers and support staff will participate in daily Seneca Language Immersion sessions.

To move closer to 100% Seneca Immersion Instruction:

• Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha teachers and support staff will incrementally increase the amount of time Seneca is spoken in the classroom.

To influence more Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha adults and community to participate in language learning with their children:

• Innovative language learning materials will be produced enabling Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha students & parents to learn together, to reinforce language instruction from classroom to home, and to gain the comfort and confidence to speak Seneca in and outside of school.

EMI provides financial assistance to community-driven projects designed to preserve Native American languages through Native American language nests. EMI also provides support for projects that are based in teaching and building language instruction capacity. The grant work plan reflects measurable outcomes and specific strategies for achieving intended objectives. We will evaluate and measure the degree of learning taking place frequently. EMI grants perpetuate language preservation by identifying opportunities for the replication or modification of projects for use by other Native communities; we will use our experience to help and assist others. Our work plan includes a component to create, store, & catalog language reference materials for future use.

A strategic plan to implement and achieve the project goals has been established; Agwadeyësta’ Do:gë:h will be held accountable to follow the plan and see it through to successful completion.

Moving forward, we have a tremendous opportunity to significantly impact the language instruction and staff development at Ganöhsesge:kha He:nödeyë:stha.

This grant was organized and written with the help and assistance of many individuals; to all of them we express our sincere gratitude and thanks. Our organization will make every effort to insure our community remains aware of the grant’s progress.

Nya:wëh for your time and consideration.

This announcement is supported by Grant # 90NB0034-01-00 from ACF. Its content are solely the responsibility of Agwadeyësta’ Do:gë:h and do not necessarily represent the official view of ACF.

Esther Martinez (Pictured above)

Esther Martinez, Ohkay Owingeh, (1912–2006) a storyteller, linguist, and teacher who dedicated herself to preserving the Tewa language in the northern pueblos of New Mexico. Through her work, Esther became the “keeper” of the language central to Pueblo expression and identity. In 2017, the Esther Martinez Native American Preservation Act was passed in the New Mexico Senate, aiming to extend and update two grant programs. The Native American Languages Preservation and Maintenance (P&M) grant program and the Esther Martinez Initiative (EMI) grant program to provide opportunities for tribal communities to assess, plan, develop, and implement projects that ensure the survival and continuing vitality of Native languages.