Tag: indigenous

Indigenous Children the Focus in New Animated Series

Australia’s National Indigenous Television channel (NITV) has launched a new animated series that brings Indigenous issues to the forefront in a novel way for children by having the main characters be Indigenous siblings. NITV states on their website, “In an Australian first, NITV presents Little J and Big Cuz, a contemporary children’s animation series offering a proud and positive...

Congress Advised of Critical Need to Boost Language Study

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) delivered its final report on the future of language education to the U.S. Congress, recommending “a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.” “America’s Languages: Investing in Language...

The Weeknd Donates $50K for Ancient Language

The University of Toronto is continuing its courses on Ge’ez thanks in part to a $50,000 donation from the Grammy Award–winning musician The Weeknd. Ge’ez is an ancient South Semitic language that originated in the northern region of Ethiopia. It remains the main language used in certain church communities and is used in prayer and in scheduled public celebrations. The...

2019: International Year of Indigenous Languages

Last month, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the rights of indigenous peoples, stressing the urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize endangered languages, and proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, inviting UNESCO to “serve as the lead agency for the Year.” The text which is co-authored by the Plurinational State of Bolivia...

2019: International Year of Indigenous Languages

Last month, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the rights of indigenous peoples, stressing the urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize endangered languages, and proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, inviting UNESCO to "serve as the lead agency for the Year." The text which is co-authored by the Plurinational State of Bolivia...

Adopt an Emoji, Save a Language

The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the computing industry standard for digital writing systems, is allowing people to adopt an emoji or any Unicode character in order to give speakers of more languages the ability to communicate online. English was the first language used online and by the mid 1990’s made up 80% of web-based content. Now 80% of the...

The True Tongue of the Tsimshian Tribe

The language of the Tsimshian tribe of the Pacific Northwest is called Sm'algyax (alternatively spelled Shm'algyack), which directly translates to, “real or true tongue.” In order to give the Tsimshian children a sense of cultural identity, Donna Roberts, one of the last fluent speakers of the tribe’s language, will embark on a three-year teaching project in Metlakatla, Alaska to...

Fostering Taiwan’s Indigenous Languages

The Executive Yuan, the executive branch of the Government of the Republic of China, approved a bill to foster the development of indigenous languages in Taiwan, introducing accreditation tests for aboriginal language proficiency and public signage in indigenous languages. Of Taiwan's 42 languages and dialects, nine are considered vulnerable (Amis, Bunun, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Taroko, Tayal, Tsou, and Yami), five are...

Indigenous Peoples Day vs. Columbus Day

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1942 to "discover" the Americas. His arrival has been celebrated by American citizens on the 2nd Monday of October since Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, but recently more and more cities are instead observing Indigenous Peoples Day to commemorate the history and contributions of indigenous peoples across the country. Those against the...

Navajo Nation Loosens Language Requirement for Leadership

Recently, the collective voice of the Navajo Nation passed a referendum to change the language requirements for the positions of tribal president and vice president. The referendum eliminates the need for potential leaders to be fluent in Navajo, giving voters more freedom in who they can elect for office. Starting with the 2018 election, there will be a possibility...