The Language Conservancy Unveils Largest Collection of Native American Language Learning Materials in the World at United Nations Forum

Announces Inaugural International Conference on Indigenous Language Documentation, Education, and Revitalization (ICILDER), Presents First Annual Kevin Locke Award to Council of Indigenous Organizations (CILO) for Notable Commitment to Language Revitalization

NEW YORK and BLOOMINGTON, Ind., April 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Language Conservancy (TLC), a nonprofit dedicated to Indigenous language revitalization, today unveiled the world’s largest collection of Native American language learning materials at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The event took place against the backdrop of The United Nation’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), designed to raise awareness of the urgent need for Indigenous language revitalization. Out of the 6,700 languages spoken worldwide, forty percent are in danger of disappearing. At this rate, 90-95 percent of all languages will become extinct in the next 100 years.

At the event, Serafin M. Coronel-Molina, Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University and native speaker of Huanca Quechua, and Wil Meya, Chairman of TLC, unveiled the largest collection of Native American language learning materials, which the nonprofit has produced in partnership with Tribes, etc. over the past two decades. Serafin and Wil presented a massive display of dictionaries, children’s books, e-learning platforms, and other materials produced and published in 47 Indigenous languages. This included the historic 3rd Edition New Lakota Dictionary, the largest Native American dictionary in the world. To meet the urgent need for language revitalization, and in recognition of The UN’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages, in 2023 TLC and its partners are planning to release 187 new indigenous language learning materials (books, dictionaries, apps, etc.) – the largest number of Indigenous language materials created in one year’s time.

TLC also announced its partnership with the Council of Indigenous Language Organizations (CILO) in hosting the first annual International Conference on Indigenous Language Documentation, Education, and Revitalization (ICILDER) on October 12-14 in Bloomington, IN, where TLC is headquartered. It brings together Indigenous First Language speakers, language experts, linguists, scholars, and practitioners from around the world to discuss the pressing issue of Indigenous language documentation and revitalization.

At the UNPFII, TLC bestowed the first annual Kevin Locke Award to CILO for its extraordinary efforts to advance Native American language revitalization. The award was created to honor the legacy of the late Native American language champion, musician, artist, and educator. In honor of Locke, this award will be given annually to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to Indigenous language revitalization.

“Today’s events and announcements bring worldwide attention to the urgent need for Indigenous language revitalization,” said Wil Meya, CEO and Chairman, TLC. “We have real momentum and need to continue to elevate awareness. We can make a significant impact with the support of our partners, funders, new technology, schools, and language champions – to preserve language, traditions, and culture for generations to come. We are here to rally for that support.”

About the Language Conservancy
The Language Conservancy is a nonprofit organization leading the way in Native American language revitalization. Over the past 20 years, TLC has worked with Indigenous communities around the world to create an unmatched body of language learning materials. Earlier this year, they introduced the 3rd Edition New Lakota Dictionary, the largest Native American Dictionary in the world, and a series of apps, largely geared to Native American youth, which instantly translate indigenous languages into English and vice versa. To date, TLC has published 319 materials in a wide range of formats and in 47 different Indigenous languages in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Reflecting the urgency of language revitalization, the organization has accelerated its effort. In 2023, TLC’s Tribal Partners will publish 187 new language revitalization materials, including apps, dictionaries, books, and videos – the largest collection ever assembled in 12 months’ time. For more information, visit TLC or call Rosica Communications at 201-843-5600.

Subscribe to the TLC Newsletter to keep up to date with all of the latest news

Previous Newsletters