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Report of the international expert group meeting on indigenous ...

Report of the international expert group meeting on indigenous ...

E/C.19/2008/3 8 34. The

E/C.19/2008/3 8 34. The ong>meetingong> was concerned with ong>theong> fact that a lack ong>ofong> funding (especially predictable funding) and political will to promote and protect indigenous languages remains a major challenge. 35. It is anoong>theong>r challenge to produce a curriculum for indigenous children that is relevant to ong>theong>m and ong>theong>ir communities, while also following national curriculums prescribed by ong>theong> government. Funding, teacher training and support are needed to develop ong>theong>se programmes that respect and promote indigenous cultures and languages, while also providing indigenous children with ong>theong> capacities to become productive members ong>ofong> national societies. 36. Although indigenous languages have a great deal in common and share many ong>ofong> ong>theong> same challenges, ong>theong>re are some differences, especially based on ong>theong> number ong>ofong> speakers and ong>theong> different national contexts in which indigenous peoples live. For example, ong>theong> challenges that indigenous language speakers are faced with in ong>theong> developed world tend to be related to revitalization and attempts to repair ong>theong> damage that has been done to indigenous languages over generations ong>ofong> culturally detrimental policies, while in ong>theong> developing world, ong>theong>re is a greater focus on maintenance and strengong>theong>ning ong>ofong> indigenous languages. Although ong>theong>re are exceptions to this generalization, ong>theong> ong>meetingong> was concerned at ong>theong> high proportion ong>ofong> indigenous languages in developed countries that are endangered. 37. Finally, ong>theong> ong>meetingong> was concerned about ong>theong> objectives ong>ofong> some programmes for endangered languages that may not coincide with those ong>ofong> indigenous peoples. Recording a language as an archival artefact is a preservation attempt that, although worthy in its own right, ong>ofong>ten does not adequately meet ong>theong> community objectives ong>ofong> language revitalization and increasing ong>theong> number ong>ofong> fluent speakers. D. Recommendations 38. The agenda ong>ofong> ong>theong> ong>meetingong> was divided into five different ong>theong>mes (see annex I). However, owing to ong>theong> fact that those issues are cross-cutting and ong>theong> recommendations are not easily categorized under one ong>theong>me or anoong>theong>r, ong>theong> recommendations will be categorized according to ong>theong> main addressee. It should be noted that a great many ong>ofong> ong>theong> recommendations can and should be implemented through ong>theong> cooperation ong>ofong> various interested actors, and not only ong>theong> main addressee. Recommendations to States 39. The promotion and protection ong>ofong> indigenous peoples’ language rights and associated rights are a part ong>ofong> cultural democracy. Those rights should form an integral part ong>ofong> development policies across various sectors, such as health, education and agriculture. 40. States should: (a) Take necessary measures to implement relevant recommendations ong>ofong> human rights treaty bodies and special rapporteurs regarding ong>theong> recognition, protection, promotion and revitalization ong>ofong> indigenous languages; (b) Use ong>theong> United Nations Declaration on ong>theong> Rights ong>ofong> Indigenous Peoples and oong>theong>r relevant human rights standards as ong>theong> basis to develop 08-21356

08-21356 policies and laws related to ong>theong> promotion and strengong>theong>ning ong>ofong> indigenous languages; (c) Take adequate constitutional and oong>theong>r legislative measures for ong>theong> recognition ong>ofong> indigenous languages and develop policies and programmes that strengong>theong>n ong>theong> daily use ong>ofong> indigenous languages at all levels, in public and private institutions, within and outside indigenous communities; (d) Ensure adequate funding for ong>theong> preservation, revitalization and promotion ong>ofong> indigenous languages and cultures, recognizing ong>theong> cost ong>ofong> implementing programmes and projects in remote areas; (e) Raise ong>theong> prestige ong>ofong> indigenous languages by supporting efforts towards standardization, by establishing indigenous universities and by promoting ong>theong> use ong>ofong> indigenous languages in public administration; (f) Ensure that language is included as one ong>ofong> ong>theong> indicators to identify indigenous persons, with consideration ong>ofong> ong>theong> census as an informative tool that gives relevant information regarding indigenous peoples. Although ong>theong> language or moong>theong>r tongue variable is important in national censuses to help disaggregate data on indigenous peoples, it is not sufficient to identify ethnicity. Indigenous ong>expertong>s should participate in identifying those variables, and in all oong>theong>r aspects ong>ofong> ong>theong> censuses, including ong>theong>ir formulation, training ong>ofong> census takers, registration, analysis and dissemination. At ong>theong> same time, it must be recognized also that some indigenous peoples are wary ong>ofong> responding to censuses; (g) Adopt legislation acknowledging that ong>theong> traditional knowledge ong>ofong> indigenous peoples is ong>theong>ir inalienable cultural heritage and embodies ong>theong>ir cultural identity and make such legislation and information available in local indigenous languages; (h) Develop quality indigenous education policies, guaranteeing ong>theong> right to moong>theong>r tongue education, with ong>theong> participation ong>ofong> indigenous peoples in all levels ong>ofong> planning and implementation, respecting ong>theong> principle ong>ofong> free, prior and informed consent; (i) Support ong>theong> creation ong>ofong> indigenous universities, language departments in universities and oong>theong>r degree programmes to promote indigenous languages as a vehicle and expression ong>ofong> intangible culture, traditions and expressions; (j) Protect and promote indigenous languages by supporting indigenous use ong>ofong> current and emerging multimedia technology, establishing quota systems or similar mechanisms that ensure adequate representation ong>ofong> indigenous languages in public- and private-owned media by providing funding for ong>theong> publication ong>ofong> indigenous literature, and by promoting ong>theong> use ong>ofong> indigenous symbols and signs in ong>theong> public sphere; (k) Guarantee ong>theong> right to moong>theong>r tongue education for indigenous children, regardless ong>ofong> ong>theong> number ong>ofong> its speakers and ensure ong>theong> teaching ong>ofong> those languages to indigenous children who do not know ong>theong>m; E/C.19/2008/3 9

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