Minnesota House recognizes 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages

Minnesota State Representative Kunesh-Podein reads resolution recognizing International Year of Indigenous Languages.(Image: screenshot from YouTube video "Rep. Kunesh Podein reads resolution recognizing International Year of Indigenous Languages" - Lisa J. Ellwood, Press Pool Manager, Indian Country Today)

Representative Mary Kunesh Podein presented a House resolution, co-signed by Representative Jamie Becker-Finn raising awareness of endangered languages by recognizing 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages

News Release

Office of Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton)

Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL – New Brighton) today presented a House resolution, co-signed by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL - Roseville), raising awareness of endangered languages by recognizing 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The resolution notes that of the world’s 6,700 languages, roughly 40 percent are in danger of disappearing, the majority of which belong to Indigenous people.

“Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives, not only as a medium of communication, education, and social interaction, but as the heart of each individual's unique identity, culture, history, and memory,” Representative. Kunesh-Podein read.

Video of Rep. Kunesh-Podein’s remarks is available below.

The text of the resolution:

A House resolution

Recognizing 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages

WHEREAS, languages play a crucial role in our daily lives, not only as a medium of communication, education, and social integration, but as the heart of each individual's unique identity, cultural history, and memory; of the world's estimated 6,700 languages, roughly 40 percent are in danger of disappearing, the majority of those belonging to indigenous people; and

WHEREAS, the Dakota and Ojibwe languages are the official Indigenous languages in Minnesota, and it is in the interest of the state of Minnesota and Tribal Nations in the state to promote and preserve the Dakota and Ojibwe languages; and 

WHEREAS, the loss of Indigenous languages is particularly devastating, as the complex knowledge and culture they foster are increasingly being recognized as strategic resources for good governance, peace-building, reconciliation, and sustainable development and the loss of Indigenous language represents significant negative impact on Indigenous peoples' most basic human rights; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of an International Year is to raise awareness of a topic of global interest and to mobilize different players for coordinated action around the world; and

WHEREAS, International Year of Indigenous Languages will mobilize stakeholders in key areas including increasing understanding, reconciliation, and international cooperation; creating favorable conditions for knowledge sharing and dissemination of good practices; integrating Indigenous languages into a standard setting; empowering through capacity building; and elaborating new knowledge to foster growth and development; and 

WHEREAS, International Year of Indigenous Languages is a celebration to help promote and protect Indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them; NOW,

THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration of the House of Representatives of the State of Minnesota that it commemorates 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages and commends the work of those helping to preserve Indigenous languages around the world.

Comments