Hey guys, thanks for inviting me to this forum. I recently went to visit some Warihó people in Chihuahua, and a Makurawe community in Sonora (both in Mexico). I asked for permission to work with their language and they accepted if I help with the development of their educational material for elementary school. There is a bunch of things I have to do. I am planning my fieldwork for next year. I am excited about it!
I would like to express my gratitude that the Mapuche nation has taken a stand against Microsoft. I hope that their case is heard in court. It does not surprise me that they have taken this action, as they are a very strong people in a country that is still overcoming the wounds of the incredible oppression of the Pinochet dictatorship (which was supported by the USA) and 400 years of colonization. I hope that their voice in this matter will give strength to other indigenous communities around the world that are also faced with the oppression of colonization (economic globalization in its most current and devastating form). My opinion is that it is not right for Microsoft to make software in Mapudungun (there are many ways to spell the language of the Mapuche: I have simply chosen this one) to sell to the Mapuche people for profit without their approval. The bottom line here is APPROVAL. It’s not that difficult to ask for approval before publishing anything regarding indigenous languages/communities (if one is not a member of the community being studied). It is a simple way to show a community that their opinion and wishes are valued, and that they will not be taken advantage of. This is a lesson for all of us that work with indigenous languages. Microsoft should be made an example of to the world.
I am really excited about this blog and about having a forum to talk about different issues related to language revitalization!
I am currently studying at a university in New Mexico, and we have just had the honor of having Sophie visit us for a few months. Her passion and dedication have been inspirational to all of us here, and we are so sad to see her go! But hopefully, the development of this blog marks the beginning of a new experience for us, and a way for us to keep connected despite the differences in time and space. I’m especially excited to hear news and ideas from my friends working in Australia (hi Sarah!).
A short introduction is in order, so I’ll get right to it. I am a linguist, and am currently working with a community in New Mexico on their language revitalization project. This project is very much a community-led endeavor, and I am really excited to be a part of it. I really like the women that I work with, and over the years I have learned a LOT from them. My research interests within the field of linguistics are primarily discourse oriented: grammar and interaction, discourse markers, and prosody.
All in all, I’m really excited about this blog and I can’t wait to read everyone’s contributions!!
It is great to finally have a forum for the discussion of issues surrounding indigenous languages in which people of all walks of life from around the globe can share their ideas, knowledge, concerns, experiences, and solutions to often daunting tasks. I encourage everyone interested in the survival and promotion of indigenous languages to participate in this dynamic community-building dialogic process. Indigenous Language SPEAK is a place for learning and sharing for the betterment of our world. I study at the University of New Mexico and I will be mostly sharing issues that we are faced with here in the Southwest (U.S.A.). I currently work with Navajo and Tewa, which are two unrelated languages spoken in the area. peace.