Tag: indigenous

Languages, Plants, and People

Marta Kongarayeva, a last speaker of Tofa. Photo courtesy of Thomas Hegenbart and Living Tongues Institute.K. David Harrison on Environmental LinguisticsThis is the first of an ongoing series of articles that Language Magazine will be publishing...

Official Launch of International Year of Indigenous Languages

Photo Courtesy IYILThe official launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL), co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), took place on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France....

Alberta invests $6M in Indigenous language education

Alberta’s government plans to spend $6 million dollars over the next two years to help establish a new program that will bring Indigenous language education into classrooms across the province. “We know that two thirds of Indigenous languages spoken in Canada are at risk, but I can...

Mix of Japanese-Indigenous Languages Survives in Taiwan

In the town of Hanhsi in the northeastern mountains here, where many of the Atayal indigenous people reside, a language resembling Japanese -- "Yilan Creole" -- can be heard being spoken.According to remaining records in Yilan County, the Japanese language school in Hanhsi was established in January 1914. However, right before that, this area was completely uninhabited. Beginning in...

Alaskans First to Receive Seal of Biliteracy in Native Tongue

The Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) is roughly the size of West Virginia, with 22 schools spread across a remote area of Alaska’s Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. There are no roads, and the most common ways to travel between towns are to fly or snowmobile.It is also a region where the native Alaskan language of Yup’ik is still...

Yolngu Album Tops Australian Charts

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has made history by becoming the first artist to top the Australian ARIA charts while singing in an indigenous language, just weeks after his death. The late singer-songwriter, who was born blind, sang in a number of Yolngu languages as well as English. The Yolngu language family only has around 4,500 speakers.Entitled Djarimirri, which means “child of...

Drums Amplify Speech Across Amazon

The Amazonian Bora people mimic the rhythm of their language for communication over large distances using drumsResearchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Université Grenoble Alpes have found that the drummed speech of the Northwest Amazon Boras not only reproduces the melody of words and...

Celebrate Mother Language Day!

On International Mother Language Day 2018, celebrated on 21 February every year, UNESCO reiterates its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.This year UNESCO also commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of...

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...

US Leaves Education, Science, Culture Organization

Following in President Reagan’s footsteps, the Trump administration has announced the U.S. intention to withdraw from United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in January 2019, citing financial reasons and anti-Israel bias.UNESCO is responsible for initiatives like World Teachers’ Day, International Literacy Day, Mother Language Day, and International Year of Indigenous Languages, as well as countless programs to protect...