St. Paul, MN – Today, State Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton) presented HF1346 to the House Government Operations Committee. The bill would recognize the Dakota and Ojibwe languages as the official indigenous languages of the state and acknowledge the critical role language plays in the culture of the Dakota and Ojibwe people.
The hearing of this bill comes on the heels of Rep. Kunesh-Podein’s effort in 2019 to raise awareness of endangered indigenous languages. In 2019 Rep. Kunesh-Podein presented a House resolution, co-signed by Rep. Becker-Finn, recognizing 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
“Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives, not only as a medium of communication, education, and social interaction, but as the heart of each individual's unique identity, culture, history, and memory,” said Rep. Kunesh-Podein.
The bill was unanimously approved and moved to the general registry.