Why indigenous languages matter more (now) and what we can do for them
Half of the world's languages are estimated to die in a century's time. Indigenous languages are under serious threat in the most linguistically diverse regions like India where 250 languages died in just 50 years. When the information and contribution of indigenous speakers are missing from the knowledge commons, the imminent threat of neo-colonization of the Internet might lead to a situation where a vast majority of world's minority languages will be wiped off forever.
UNESCO has identified 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) to educate people all over the world about preserving and helping grow the use of languages that are in danger. What can Wikimedians really do to bring more indigenous speakers as contributors and grow open knowledge repositories in the respective languages? The answer is probably complicated as many indigenous languages might not be viable to start a Wikipedia Incubator because of the lack of reliable content or adequate technical resources to contribute online. But where do we start from?
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
This session aims at contributing directly towards SDGs (4) Quality Education and (10) Reducing Inequality and indirectly towards (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (11) Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, and (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
This session is to discuss the issues with indigenous languages esp. in the Global South and exchange recommendations specifically tied to the Wikimedia projects based on case studies.
O Foundation, one of the official campaign partners of UNESCO's IYIL campaign and a nonprofit in India founded and led by some of the Wikimedians, is building OpenSpeaks, a resource hub to bring together indigenous communities, archivists, developers to build both media and technical resources which is now being incorporated into Wikiversity for a greater involvement of the Wikimedia community, will be leading this discussion.
- Subhashish Panigrahi (@subhapa on Twitter)
- Anass Sedrati
- Kristen Tcherneshoff
- O Foundation (also Odia Wikimedians User Group) / India
- Wikimedia Morocco User Group / Wikimedia Advocacy Working Group
- Wikitongues / United States
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Panel with audience Question & Answer session
If other than 20 minutes, specify how long
The session will work best with these conditions:
A lecture hall, a projector + screen, r