2021 National Native American Languages Summit

Native Communities Leading and Taking Control of their Native Languages


November 18–19, 2021


The eighth National Native American Language Summit will discuss the challenges and successes of measuring oral and written American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Pacific Islander language learning and will share promising practices. This annual convening is based on the requirements of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between ANA, the Department of Education’s (ED) White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (WHIAIANE), and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). In November 2012, ED/WHIAIANE, ANA, and BIE signed an MOA to collaborate on programming, resource development, and policy related to Native languages across the agencies. The MOA encourages programs and projects supported by any of the MOA partners to include instruction in and preservation of Native American languages. The MOA was revised in 2018. Subsequently, the partners formed a Native Language Workgroup, and each of the partner agencies worked both internally and externally to identify barriers, levers, and promising practices that will help communities implement successful programs and projects that further the goal of language preservation and revitalization. In addition, the Native Language Workgroup identified areas of collaboration to share resources across agencies and partner communities.

The National Native Languages Summit grew out of this partnership and is now a part of the formal MOA. Together, the diverse stakeholder communities now have a venue to share challenges and paths to success in teaching Native languages. The goal of the summit is to identify ways to further support communities in teaching their Native languages, improve accountability for educational progress, provide measurable goals to demonstrate success, and encourage youth to gain the skills to speak their language.