Community-based volunteer-run radio station: a tool for revitalizing languages – Cultural Survival

Listen to flute player Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo who shares his thoughts on music in Native American culture – Living Voices Track 2 >>

Language experts believe that 90% of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages could disappear entirely by the end of this century. Indigenous Peoples face myriad socio-economic pressures and discriminatory policies forcing youth and adults alike to replace tribal languages with the dominant languages of the larger societies in which they live.

When a language goes silent?, we lose more than just a grammatical system or a vocabulary. Each language represents a unique worldview or cosmology. Languages embed knowledge about cultural values, spiritual practices, and ancient knowledge accumulated through long-term interactions with natural environments and resources. In losing a language, we lose part of our cultural diversity and a priceless record of local biodiversity.

Radio is a tool for revitalizing languages

To save a language, it needs to be transmitted to the next generation. If children do not hear the language or if they are ashamed to speak it, the language will go silent with its elders.

The radio is an ideal tool for preserving and revitalizing languages and cultural practices that are falling into infrequent use. In many Indigenous communities around the world, people already have a radio on daily. Even if they do not, it is relatively easy to create the necessary infrastructure for a community-based volunteer-run station. […]

Source: Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio | Cultural Survival
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Date Visited: Tue Jan 22 2013 19:02:47 GMT+0100 (CET)

For 40 years Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities around the world to defend their lands, languages, and cultures.

We publicize Indigenous Peoples’ issues through our award-winning publications; we mount letter-writing campaigns and other advocacy efforts to stop environmental destruction and abuses of Native Peoples’ rights; and we work on the ground in Indigenous communities, always at their invitation. Our work is predicated on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. […]

Our headquarters is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and we have satellite offices in Guatemala and Colorado. Cultural Survival has consultative status with the United Nations.

Source: Who We Are | Cultural Survival
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Date Visited: Tue Jan 22 2013 19:08:07 GMT+0100 (CET)

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