Indigenous

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Linguistic Diversity Declines in Papua New Guinea

Traditional dancing at the Mask Festival, Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea—frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world—is in the middle of a language crisis. According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the…

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Cherokee Linguist Honored by Senate Act and Center

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chair of the committee, have introduced the Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation marks the 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act by ensuring federal efforts meet the goal…

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Learning Guna on the Radio

When we talk about remote or distance learning, we often think of things like Zoom meetings, recorded lectures or Canvas assignments, but a group of teachers from Panama’s Indigenous Guna community is adding another dimension to the term, broadcasting lessons over the country’s public radio system. According to a report from La Prensa Latina, the…

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Call for Sweden to Recognize Elfdalian

Sweden’s magical forests are home to Elfdalian, an ancient, endangered language A Swedish parliamentary representative is calling for action to preserve an extremely vulnerable language spoken in Sweden’s forested countryside: Elfdalian (älvdalska in Swedish and övdalsk in the language itself). Currently, the Swedish government only recognizes Elfdalian as a dialect of Swedish, despite the two…

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Russia Launches Project to Preserve Languages

The Federal Institute of Native Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation has announced an initiative to develop educational materials and revitalize indigenous languages in the Siberian republic of Yakutia, many of which have low populations of native speakers. According to a report from TASS Russian News Agency, many children in Yakutia learn an…

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Canada Launches First Indigenous-Language TV Channel

A new, all-Inuit Inuktut language channel has been launched in Canada, serving as the country’s first channel broadcast entirely in an Indigenous language. Devised by the team at Nunavut Independent Television (NITV), Uvagut TV (Inuktut for “Our TV”) began broadcasting Inuktut language shows, movies and live programming on January 18. “Our ancestors survived by the…