Superintendent Arntzen Submits Montana Indian Language Preservation Rules to Montana Secretary of State


HELENA – Following collaboration with Tribal leaders in Montana, Superintendent Arntzen submitted newly proposed rules on the Montana Indian Language Preservation (MILP) program to the Montana Secretary of State. During the 68th legislative session, HB 287, sponsored by Representative Jonathan Windy Boy, was passed into law. HB 287 revises § 20-9-537, MCA, the Montana Indian Language Preservation program, to require tribes and partnering school districts to preserve and perpetuate Indian languages to help meet the state's educational goal of preserving the cultural integrity of American Indians under Article X, section 1, of the Montana Constitution. This law also directed the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) to:

- Collaborate with tribal governments to adopt program guidelines

- Create guidelines to distribute funds

- Establish reporting requirements and track funds

“The MILP program is a unique partnership between our tribal governments and our state government to expand culture and heritage through language,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “This rule-making process guarantees transparent and accountable use of our precious tax dollars. I encourage all Montanans to let their voice be heard during the public comment process.”

The new proposed rules for the MILP program will open for public comment on July 21, 2023, and close on August 18, 2023. A public hearing will take place on August 11, 2023, at 10:00 AM in OPI’s Montana Room on the second floor of 1300 11th Ave in Helena, Montana, or via Zoom. All public comment can be submitted to

The timeline for the rulemaking process is:

July 21 - Publication day for proposing rules

August 11 - Public hearing on proposed rules

August 18 - End of public comment period for proposed rules

September 12 - Filing date for publication

September 22 - Final publication day for adopting rules before the guidelines must be in place

September 29 - Last business day before the guidelines must be in place

October 1 - Guidelines for applications must be in place


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