Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy says that Native American languages on many reservations are nearly extinct, and he wants Montana to help preserve them.
A key legislative committee Tuesday approved $2 million to help do that.
Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, said he is hopeful the entire Legislature will follow suit.
The money would enable tribes to come up with ways to preserving the languages that were used for centuries before the arrival of Europeans, but have slowly faded away.
For instance, he said, there are just 15 fluent Gros Ventre speakers left at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.