The 21st of February is International Mother Language Day. This day is a celebration of the world’s cultural and linguistic diversity. For this year’s edition, we turn the spotlight on Indigenous languages to celebrate the start of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032) as declared by the United Nations.
Why are Indigenous languages so important?
Languages are like treasure chests, containing a wealth of centuries-old histories, cultures, world views and knowledge systems. With every language that is lost, we are robbing ourselves of our human diversity. This is not an issue that only concerns Indigenous peoples, as we all stand to lose if this process is not reversed.
Although a minority, Indigenous peoples protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Their languages hold valuable knowledge, for instance how to care for the lands, forest and water systems in a sustainable way. But also how to adapt, mitigate and reduce the risks associated with climate change.
Toolkit for Teachers
For educators who would like to join the celebrations of the International Mother Language Day and are interested in focusing on Indigenous languages, we gathered some valuable resources, ideas and information to help you get started. Open the Teacher Toolkit here: Indigenous Languages- Teachers package (1)
Indigenous languages are tied to many topics that are already discussed in the classroom:
- Climate Justice, Climate Change & Sustainability
- World Citizenship & International Solidarity
- Cultural Diversity & Cross-Cultural Dialogue
- (International) Human Rights & Anti-racism
- Histories of Marginalisation & Colonisation (and their legacies)
What can you find in this resource kit?
- Why should we all care about Indigenous languages?
- Ideas to create a lesson on Indigenous languages
- Relevant background information to dive deeper
Share your lessons with us!
Did you put some ideas in practice by designing a lesson about indigenous languages?
Let us know by sharing your experience, photos or videos via social media with hashtag: