July 18, 2022

Cortez Masto Announces Grant Funding to Teach Northern Paiute Language

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe will receive $299,198 from the Department of Health and Human Services to preserve and teach the Tribe’s native language, the Northern Paiute language, also known as Paviotso.

“I’m proud to announce this important grant, which will support the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe in its work to reinforce its rich cultural heritage,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ll continue to work to support Native Nevadans and live up to our treaty obligation with Tribes in the Silver State.”

“The Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe is considered one of the few communities where the majority of resident members are fluent in the Paiute language,” said Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Chairwoman Maxine Redstar. “We are eager to begin collaborating with McDermitt Combined Schools to begin developing curriculum in strengthening and documenting our unique language through the grant award. We appreciate and welcome the support of Senator Cortez Masto in continuing to reinforce the invaluable cultures of Nevada tribes.”

This grant will fund a program to teach K- through 6th -graders at the McDermitt Combined School. The grant would allow the school to hire a teacher and develop a specific curriculum for each grade level. The program is slated to start during the 2022-2023 school year, beginning with the incoming kindergarten class.

Senator Cortez Masto is one of the strongest champions for Native Americans in the Senate. She has called on the administration to do more to address the epidemic of violence against Native women and girls, including by securing federal funding to protect Native communities, urging the administration to put together a plan to address this issue, and requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate the federal response to this crisis. In 2020, she passed the bipartisan Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act to help address the epidemic of missing, murdered, and trafficked Indigenous women. She also joined Senators Tester and Murkowski in pushing the administration to implement these laws. Following her advocacy, the Departments of Interior and Justice named members to the commission required by Senator Cortez Masto’s Not Invisible Act