As a way of commemorating the 2019 International Year of International Year of Indigenous Languages, “HIYA NIGERIA” in collaboration with UNESCO regional office is organising a one day symposium to highlight the issues and threats to the promotion of the indigenous languages.   

IYIL2019 is targeted to promote and protect indigenous languages and improve the lives of those who speak them, as well contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. The celebration is expected to strengthen and reinforce the many standard-setting tools adopted by the International community which include specific provisions to promote and protect languages.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE INAUGURAL CELEBRATION: INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES 2019 (IYIL2019)

  • Symposium/colloquium on The concept of Orthography
  • Rendition of the Nigerian National Anthem/Prayer,/Pledge in Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba by students in our pilot schools
  • Historical citation in Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba and Pidgin English by students in our pilot schools.
  • The concept of Folklores and Oratory
  • Exhibition of (a) Nigerian Indigenous Language Abecedarium (NILA)  (b) the Language Map Puzzle schools competition 

Background

An International Year is an important cooperation mechanism dedicated to raising awareness of a particular topic or theme of global interest or concern, and mobilizing different players for coordinated action around the world.

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, based on a recommendation by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

At the time, the Forum said that 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.  The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk. 

In addition, indigenous languages are often isolated both politically and socially in their countries of origin, sometimes by the geographical location of their communities, their separate histories, cultures, languages and traditions.

And yet, they are not only leaders in protecting the environment, but their languages represent complex systems of knowledge and communication and should be recognized as a strategic national resource for development, peace building and reconciliation. 

They also foster and promote unique local cultures, customs and values which have endured for thousands of  years. Indigenous languages add to the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity. Without them, the world would be a poorer place.

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