As the International Year of Indigenous Languages comes to an end, the United Nations has declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to begin in 2022.
The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly Dec. 18 “to draw attention to the critical loss of Indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize, and promote Indigenous language” and to “take urgent steps at the national and international levels.”
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will serve as the lead agency for the International Decade, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed the announcement, saying languages are identity, wisdom and worldview.
UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages 2019
Languages play a critical role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person’s unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory. But despite their immense value, languages around the world continue to disappear at an alarming rate. With this in mind, the United Nations declared 2019 The Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) in order to raise awareness of them, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity. To find out more check out their website here.
In order to celebrate and to acknowledge Indigenous Language events happening in libraries and archives across Canada, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations Indigenous Matters Committee (CFLA-FCAB IMC) is encouraging library and archives staff to submit their events and share resources on the UNESCO portal. This resource is meant as a guide on how these resources and events to the appropriate portal, as well as how to sign up for a UNESCO IYIL2019 Account.