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Esther Martinez language act up for House vote

The Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act, recently renamed in honor of the late Pueblo linguist and storyteller Esther Martinez, is up for a vote this week.

The bill creates grant programs for Native language survival schools, Native language nests, and Native language restoration programs. It is sponsored by Rep Wilson, Heather (R-New Mexico), who recently held a field hearing in New Mexico, Martinez's home state.

The National Indian Education Association is urging tribes, educators and schools to support H.R.4766. It is being placed on the "suspension" calendar in hopes of a speedy vote.

Martinez was killed in car accident on September 16. She was on her way back to Ohkay Owingeh, formerly known as San Juan Pueblo, from Washington, D.C., where she had received a National Heritage Fellowship for her work to preserve the Tewa language.

Get the Story:
Esther Martinez, 94; Tewa Speaker Worked to Save Her Language (The Los Angeles Times 9/24)

Get the Bill:
Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act (H.R.4766)

2006 National Heritage Fellowships:
Bio: Esther Martinez | List of Recipients

Related Stories:
Man arraigned for crash that killed Pueblo storyteller (9/22)
Hundreds pay tribute to Pueblo storyteller, linguist (9/21)
Man charged with death of Pueblo storyteller (9/20)
Funeral for Esther Martinez set for Wednesday (9/19)
Esther Martinez, linguist and storyteller, dies at 94 (9/18)
Pueblo woman keeps Tewa language, culture alive (08/28)
Pueblo woman wins National Heritage Fellowship (06/16)