Billings News

Feb 20, 2014 4:00 AM by MTN News - Billings

Tester visits Crow Agency language immersion school

BILLINGS - Montana Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh paid a visit to Crow Agency Wednesday.

Sen. Tester recently teamed up with three other senators to help preserve Native American languages.

Studies show that Native American children are more likely to succeed in school if they know their culture's language.

Through the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act, $5 million will be distributed to reservation language schools in 2015.

Sen. Tester said he plans to visit all seven Montana Indian Reservations this year.

Tester was recently named Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

"There are a lot of challenges in Indian Country," Tester said. "One of the things that I hold near and dear to my heart is the role education plays in lifting people out of poverty. (There is) plenty of poverty in Indian country and early childhood education is a proven payback."

For Sen. Walsh, his visit to Crow Agency Wednesday was among his first official stops in Montana, since he was sworn in last week to replace six term Sen. Max Baucus in the U.S. Senate.

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