Year of Indigenous Languages
The United Nations has proclaimed 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The official launch of #IYIL2019 took place in Paris, France, on January 28, 2019.
What are Indigenous Languages?
Around the world, there are languages spoken by peoples who have lived in those spaces and places since time immemorial. These languages reflect the world views and ways of knowing distinct to their language speakers; languages and cultures are increasingly at risk of disappearing through complex processes of acculturation and globalization. In fact, the UN estimates that 2,680 languages are seriously endangered.
There are five Indigenous language groups in Manitoba, including Ojibwe, Cree, Dene, Dakota and Inuit. Ojibwe is the language of the Treaty 1 territory. Due to a highly transient Indigenous population, many Indigenous languages are spoken here in Winnipeg.
How is LRSD Helping to Preserve Indigenous Languages?
Since 2016, LRSD has been developing and implementing an Ojibwe Language Program in the classroom. The program connects Ojibwe language speakers with kindergarten and Grade 1 students in a unique nature-based learning environment, with support from the Indigenous Education team.
How Can I Help Support Indigenous Language Learning?
For the remainder of the 2019 calendar year, LRSD released an Ojibwe Word of the Week. An audio recording accompanied these words to help listeners hear and recognize the words. So check the LRSD website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for your weekly language lesson (and consider sharing or retweeting). Get excited about expanding your language horizons, learning new things, and seeing the world just a little bit differently thanks to the rich linguistic tradition of the Ojibwe Peoples!
Miigwech from the Indigenous Education Team and Communications Department.