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Lauren Hummingbird, a graduate of the Cherokee Nation’s language immersion school in Oklahoma, told a Senate panel that language is the foundation of a culture, but past federal policies have brought tribal communities to a painful point. (Photo/Vandana Ravikumar, Cronkite News)

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Advocates urge Senate to help ‘heal this wound’ of native language loss

he government must help reverse generations of federally backed assimilation programs that left Native Americans “robbed of the ability to speak our own language,” advocates told a Senate panel Aug. 22.