Education International joins in the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on the 9th of August. This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages, in the framework of the United Nations’ 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Indigenous Languages are the most endangered languages around the world. Much more than communication systems, Indigenous Languages are sources of identity, history and memory for millions of Indigenous Peoples. Preserving, revitalising and passing them on to new generations is not only vital to the rich cultural diversity of the world, it is essential to the protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Education is key in this effort. At the 8th Education International World Congress, representatives of 32 million educators took the lead and unanimously adopted a resolution on decolonising education, making this a priority for the organisation in the next four years. Congress agreed that “education unions, as the organised collective voice of the teaching profession, and in line with their social justice mandate in and through education, have a unique role to play in furthering the decolonisation of education around the world.”
David Edwards, Education International Secretary General, said: “This commemorative day provides us with a shared opportunity to acknowledge and to reflect on the different ways our own education systems negatively impact on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. But this reflection must lead to action. That action may well start today, on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, but it must continue long after the day ends.” Read the full statement of our General Secretary on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples here.
For further information and to get involved, please visit the official website of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.