International Year of Indigenous Languages

Indigeneity: a matter for development, peace building and reconciliation

Hinurewa te Hau by Matariki Festival Trust
Eluned Hâf by Wales Arts International
Marimύ᾽te᾽ka Amejimina
Sandra Márjá West by Carl-Johan Utsi

Session 15

Chaired by Hinurewa te Hau (New Zealand), Matariki Cultural Foundation

with Eluned Hâf (UK), Wales Arts International;
Marimύ᾽te᾽ka Amejimina (Colombia), Instituto Distrital de las Artes, Idartes;
Sandra Márjá West (Norway), Riddu Riđđu Festival

There is an urgent need to preserve, revitalise and promote Indigenous languages around the world. There are some 6,000-7,000 languages in the world today. About 97% of the world’s population speaks only 4% of these languages, while only 3% of the world speak 96% of all remaining languages. A great majority of those languages, spoken mainly by Indigenous peoples, will continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Without appropriate measures to address this issue, the further loss of languages and their associated history, traditions and memory would considerably reduce the rich tapestry of linguistic diversity worldwide. The panel will discuss what music can achieve to raise awareness, not only for the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity.