B.C. First Nations Greetings

Decade of Indigenous Languages

June 1, 2020

The United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages begins in 2022.

First Nations representatives from B.C. joined more than 500 participants from 50 countries in Mexico City in February 2020 to discuss a roadmap for the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).

The roadmap is called the Los Pinos Declaration. The Declaration was adopted after a two-day event organized by UNESCO and Mexico.

The Los Pinos Declaration calls for the implementation of the internationally recognized rights of indigenous peoples. It emphasizes Indigenous peoples’ rights to freedom of expression, to an education in their mother tongue and to participate in public life using their languages, as prerequisites for the survival of Indigenous languages. The Declaration highlights the importance of Indigenous languages in justice systems, the media, labour and health programs. It also points to the potential of digital technologies in supporting the use and preservation of those languages. At least 40% of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are at some level of endangerment. Indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable.

10 Goals for the Decade of Indigenous Languages

When the UN General Assembly declared the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, they invited Indigenous peoples to initiate ideas. The following are 10 goals proposed by FPCC for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages:

  • Goal 1: Indigenous communities have full control of their own language data
  • Goal 2: Indigenous communities have access to international research and resources for language revitalization
  • Goal 3: Indigenous language access is supported by sustainable technologies
  • Goal 4: Indigenous language learners have access to mother-tongue based education
  • Goal 5: Nations and states are supporting and investing in Indigenous language revitalization
  • Goal 6: States that succeed in supporting Indigenous languages are celebrated and acknowledged
  • Goal 7: A convention is adopted for the promotion of Indigenous languages and linguistic rights
  • Goal 8: Effective assessment mechanisms are implemented to demonstrate outcomes of the Decade
  • Goal 9: Indigenous-led language work is supported through long-term adequate funding
  • Goal 10: Indigenous knowledge and expertise is recognized and honoured