With a view to empowering Indigenous language speakers and users, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Indigenous Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee for the organization of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the National Commission of Canada for UNESCO, and other Canadian national, regional and international partners, are organizing the IYIL2019 North American and Arctic Regional Meeting on Indigenous languages from 23 to 26 June 2019 on the margins of the International Conference “HELISET TŦE SḰÁL – “Let the Languages Live” in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
The North American and Arctic Regional Meeting (IYIL2019 Regional Meeting) will contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan for Organizing the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, in particular to the established tentative road map towards achieving strategic objectives and expected impacts through the elaboration of a Global Strategic Outcomes Document.
The Global Strategic Outcomes Document of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages will focus on three key objectives: (i) acknowledge a critical status of Indigenous languages around the world; (ii) highlight the urgent need to further recognize the essential contributions of Indigenous languages to social, cultural, economic, environmental, technological and scientific domains; and, (iii) urge key stakeholders, including international organizations and specialized agencies of the UN, governments, Indigenous organizations, NGOs and civil society to continue taking concrete and sustainable measures at every level to support, access and promote Indigenous languages around the world. The Global Strategic Outcomes Document would also set out the direction for future global actions.
The objectives of the IYI2019 Regional Meeting in Victoria are to:
- Bring together a diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives of the national governments, Indigenous peoples, scholars and experts in the field of Indigenous languages, and others for a constructive dialogue on Indigenous languages and related issues in the North America and Arctic regions;
- Promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms, with special focus on support, access and promotion of Indigenous languages and better integration into the policy and strategic frameworks, research agendas and development of concrete tools and services;
- Identify existing challenges, practical solutions and good practices among different stakeholders working in language transmission, documentation, safeguarding, policy development, education, research, and promotion and industry fields; and,
Raise awareness on the importance of Indigenous languages, linguistic diversity and multilingualism for sustainable development and provide guidance to the stakeholders in the implementation of international, regional and national commitments related to language development.