In the digital age, connecting with your US Representative is fairly simple. Find a links to webpages and information on all US Representatives here.
In the digital age, connecting with your US Senator is fairly simple. Find a complete listing of all US Senators here.
Right now in the US House of Representatives bill H.R.726 is being considered by the Committee on Education and the Workforce. This bill would amend the 1974 Native American Programs Act and reauthorize the Esther Martinez Native American Language Preservation Act, which is supposed to help tribes establish immersion programs with regard to their native language as a means toward the preservation and revitilization of those languages. Referencing this bill would be an excellent way to start of your letter to your Senator or Representative when writing to them about the cause of The Language Conservancy and its partners.
Writing to Your Members of Congress
Writing to your Senator or US Representative is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build legislative support for Lakota language protection and revitaization initiatives. However, your letter or email needs to be thoughtful, well-written and specific because it needs to stand out from the hundreds of emails, letters and calls Congress Members receive daily. In addition, it is best to address legislation that has already been proposed or is currently up for debate, using it as a complement or lead-in for your advocacy of language preservation and revitalization. Refer to this guidefor tips on the best way to write to your Member of Congress.
The most effective way of influencing your Senator or US Representative is to schedule a face-to-face meeting with them or the appropriate member of their staff. These meetings can be arranged for either their local offices or their Washington headquarters, depending on the time of year. You will need to find out when your Member of Congress will be available, which you can do by calling their local offices, checking their website, or getting on their mailing list. You should also research to find out if your Senator or US Representative is currently working on native language and culture legislation or has done so in the past. Once your visit is arranged, make sure you are prepared for how to make the most of your time and how to best approach and promote our cause. You can get prepared by referring to this guide.