Online Conversation: What does the future hold for indigenous languages online in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Please join us in the first in a series of online exchanges focusing on how indigenous communities in Mexico and Canada have been adopting technology and the internet as tools to promote and revitalize their native languages benefitting and impacting a new generation of potential speakers.

Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 11:00 am (CDT/Mexico City) – Please see the time conversion for your current location.

Conversation #1 – “What does the future hold for indigenous languages online in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?”  Please register here.

Indigenous communities have been on high alert since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. One of the most vulnerable and at-risk groups is the elderly, who, in indigenous communities across the Americas, are often among the few remaining speakers of endangered languages. The pandemic has therefore heightened the urgency of working to prevent language loss.

With many across the world confined to their homes and seeking to use the time to acquire new skills and knowledge, some enterprising language activists have taken the opportunity to promote the learning of their languages by offering online classes. Other language advocates and activists have helped produce or translate informational and educational resources to raise awareness about the coronavirus, many of which have been shared online or distributed through digital platforms.

As we collectively move into this so-called “new normal,” what does this mean for indigenous communities trying to preserve their languages? How can we sustain the momentum of this period when more than ever the importance of reaching people in their native languages is even more critical? And what role can technology and the internet play in ensuring that language revitalization remains at the forefront?

Please note: Simultaneous interpretation (English/Spanish) will be available in the Zoom call. 



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