WASHINGTON (AP) – Tunkasila Mila Hanska Oyate ki lel un gluwitapi.

No, that wasn’t a typographical error covering two-thirds of page S8579 of the Congressional Record published Friday.

It was a speech Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., had delivered in English in the Senate on Thursday and had printed in the record in both English and Lakota, an American Indian language.

It is unusual for a foreign language to appear in the record, the official chronicle of remarks made in the House and Senate since 1876. It is rarer still for the comments to be in an American Indian language.

“I’m certainly not aware of anything like this happening earlier in the Congressional Record,” Senate Historian Richard Baker said of an American Indian language being printed in the daily publication.

The Lakota words at the beginning of Daschle’s speech mean, “President, Americans are united.” Senators usually open their floor comments by addressing the senator who is presiding over the chamber, technically the Senate’s president pro tempore or acting president.

In his comments, Daschle did not mention that he is in a tight re-election race this fall in a state whose population is 8 percent American Indian. The Lakota are a branch of the Great Sioux nation.

Daschle used his speech to hail the “code talkers” of World War II. Those were troops from the Navajo, Lakota and roughly 15 other American Indian nations who sent messages in their own languages during World War I and World War II that the enemy could not understand.

Daschle said one way to honor the code talkers would be try preserving American Indian languages, which are rapidly fading away.

Only half the 300 American Indian languages once used in what is now the United States are still spoken, and the rest are expected to vanish in decades, he said.

It costs $611 per page to publish the record each day, distribute it and place it on the Internet, said Government Printing Office spokeswoman Veronica Meter. About 7,000 copies are printed daily.

Meter said she did not know if the record has been printed before in a Native American language.


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