Tag: indigenous languages

Losing Languages Means Losing Remedies

A close up image of a smoldering white sage smudge bundle and healing crystal on a dark wooden table.
The media frequently discusses language decline in terms of numbers alone—many of us have likely heard the oft-cited statistic that one language goes extinct every three months or the projection that 30% of the world’s languages will be extinct by the end of the 21st century. Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge,  published in the Proceedings...

Fostering Multilingualism for Inclusion

Sunday’s celebration of International Mother Language Day, the UN’s annual commemoration honoring linguistic diversity and multilingualism, focused on inclusion, both in the classroom and in society. “Fostering the use of the mother tongue means, precisely, at the same time fostering access to education for all, as well as the dissemination of cultures in all their diversity. The theme of the...

New Bipartisan Native American Language Bill

The short documentary "Durbin Feeling: Language Is Everything" honors the Cherokee linguist after whom the legislation is named.
On October 30, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act (NALA) with the announcement of new bipartisan legislation, the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2020, to ensure the federal government is living up to policies and principles set out in NALA...

Support Native Language Center to Help Fight COVID-19

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is calling for the inclusion of a provision in the next coronavirus relief bill to establish a Native American Language Resource Center (NALRC) to support Native American language education schools and programs hit hard by COVID-19. The proposed center would promote best practices in Native American language education; provide outreach to students and families; acquisition of...

“Nothing for us without us”: Roadmap for Decade of Indigenous Languages

More than 500 participants from 50 countries, including government ministers, indigenous leaders, researchers, public and private partners, and other stakeholders and experts, adopted the Los Pinos Declaration, at the end of “Making a decade of action for indigenous languages,” a two-day event in Mexico City, organized by UNESCO and Mexico. The declaration places indigenous peoples at the center of...

UN Proclaims International Decade of Indigenous Languages

The UN General Assembly last month proclaimed 2022–2032 the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, inviting Indigenous peoples—as custodians— to initiate ideas for preserving this endangered facet of their cultural and social life, as it adopted 60 resolutions and one decision recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural). The proclamation of a decade is strongly supported by a...

Multilingual Focus for UN Literacy Day

"about 40% of the world’s population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand" Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO The focus of this month’s International Literacy Day was Literacy and Multilingualism, to tie in with the UN’s 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference...

Celebrate UN’s Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Language is focus of this year's event UN Secretary General, António Guterres, released the following statement today to mark United Nation's Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: "This year marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages, declared by the UN General Assembly to draw attention to the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages.  "Languages are...

Canadian Stats Reveal Need for Revitalization

Growth of the Indigenous population in Canada continues to rapidly outpace that of the rest of the country, but Indigenous languages need more revitalization efforts, according to census data released by Statistics Canada (http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/index-eng.cfm). Between 2006 and 2016, the self-identified Indigenous population g rew by 42.5%—from 1,172,790 to 1,673, 785—a rate four times that of the rest of the population, according to...
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