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,
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.