Tester Announces Funding for Crow Oral History Project

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – As part of his ongoing efforts to help preserve and support the culture, legacy, and history of Montana’s Native American tribes, Senator Jon Tester announced today that Little Big Horn College will receive $99,990 to fund its Crow Oral History project.

“The legacies and histories of Montana’s Native communities are fundamental to the legacy and history of Montana,” said Tester, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “By funding this project, we can help ensure that the history of the Crow Tribe is passed on for generations to come.”

The name of the project is “Creating and Perpetuating Crow Oral History in the Classroom and Beyond” and the grant comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through its Humanities Initiatives at Tribal Colleges and Universities. The grant is a highly competitive one, with less than a third of applicants accepted.

“The NEH grant will allow faculty and staff at Little Big Horn College to work with elders in the Crow community to create new oral histories based on their life experiences since the end of World War II,” said Jon Ille, Program Director & Archivist for Little Big Horn College. “With this grant, we will be able to generate local histories on a wide range of topics for future generations of Crow community members to appreciate.”

Tester also sponsored the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act and the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act this Congress. Both bills provide grant opportunities for tribes to establish or expand Native language immersion programs, helping revitalize and preserve a fundamental part of tribal cultures while expanding educational opportunities for Native students. The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act was ultimately incorporated into the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was enacted earlier this Congress. Eligible schools will be able to apply for the first round of grants under this program in 2017.