February 21, 2004

No Navajo in Arizona Schools

Proponents of the English Only movement have at various times assured us that they aren't targetting native American languages, only what they see as pandering to immigrant languages. It isn't true. According to this article in the Navajo Times, the State of Arizona is now taking the position that Arizona's English Only Law, proposition 203, forbids the use of Navajo as the language of instruction in state schools. The Findings and Declarations are all about immigrants, but the actual wording of the law makes no distinction between immigrant languages and native languages. The state's new position conflicts with the opinion issued by Arizona attorney general Janet Napolitano in 2001, which held that Proposition 203 barred instruction in languages other than English outside the reservation, but did not do so within the reservation. Funding for Navajo language immersion schools is now threatened.

Posted by Bill Poser at February 21, 2004 03:45 PM