What’s next to preserve the linguistic richness of Indigenous Peoples? Beyond the International Year of Indigenous Languages
Olvera Colin LM
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This year, 2019, marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Based on the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 71/178, it represents a massive effort to finally raise awareness on the invaluable richness of Indigenous languages. This initiative is primarily led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), but it involves all the UN bodies directly dealing with Indigenous Peoples’ rights (e.g., the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which was the primary convener; the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) as well as a number of other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, governments, academia, civil society organizations, and private sector enterprises that may wish to celebrate Indigenous languages by carrying out related events. A decade of Indigenous languages may be launched as a follow-up. This would be of utmost importance because, although UNESCO estimates Indigenous languages to number at approximatively 7,000, they are, at the same time, in danger.
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