Fwd: media project on endangered languages

Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Tue May 31 16:37:34 UTC 2005

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Dennis W. Zotigh" <dzotigh at ok-history.mus.ok.us>
Date: May 31, 2005 8:11:41 AM PDT
To: <byrge at final-cut.dk>, <andrekar at ncidc.org>
Subject: media project on endangered languages

 Dear Sirs,
I have been working on documenting language loss and preservation  
initiatives with the 39 Oklahoma tribes of the United States.  
Historically, 67 tribes from throughout the United States and Canada  
were removed from their homelands and placed in Indian Territory (what  
is now Oklahoma). Today there are 39 tribal headquarters within our  
state boundaries. This provides a unique opportunity for researchers  
because we have tribes that were relocated here, whose homelands  
spanned across America.
My research of language loss in Oklahoma is considered by many to be  
currently the most up to date.  In my field studies, I have found there  
were 8 Oklahoma tribes who have no fluent speakers within their tribal  
membership. Last month another elder died, making that statistic 9  
Oklahoma tribes who have no fluent tribal language speakers. In  
addition, 10 Oklahoma tribes are one generation away from losing their  
"We are in the greatest era of American Indian lanuage extinction in  
history!" I am a strong proponent of getting this message out to the  
international public.
I have spoken nationally and internationally on American Indian  
culture. If I can be of any assistance in your Voices of the World  
project,  please let me know.
Dennis W. Zotigh
American Indian Research Historian
Oklahoma Historical Society
Powwow Cultural Advisor
Smithsonian  National Museum of the American Indian
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 18:47:44 +0000
From: andre cramblit <andrekar at ncidc.org>
Subject: Voices Of The World (language) Call for participation in
Voices of the World.
 An international media project on endangered languages
Dear colleagues around the world,
Voices of the World (VOW) aims to build international awareness of
the diversity of mankind through a world-wide documentary film and
media project. We want to portray the peoples of the world, giving
face and voice to each culture and empowering every language
community to speak. The goal of VOW is to strengthen our global
mutual belonging. VOW is an international non-profit initiative of
UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Languages Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir,
based on an original idea by the internationally acclaimed filmmaker
Janus Billeskov Jansen,
  supported by the Danish Government, the UN
and by leading linguists from all over the world.
Our first task is to create a media event in connection with UN’s 60th
anniversary in October 2005. All the Nordic public service TV stations
are committed to this broadcast. We are presently working on similar
arrangements with other international TV-stations. In order to make
this a truly global event we want to invite YOU to participate in
creating key elements of the central documentary film –
Voices. Voices will tell the story of the linguistic loss the world is
suffering from the threat of language endangerment. The film takes
its point of departure in a personal talk with UN Sec.-Gen. Mr. Kofi
Annan, in his own mother tongue Fante, expressing his concerns for
cultural and linguistic diversity. But the main elements of the film
are to be based on YOUR contributions. We seek case stories, which
pinpoint the stages from language endangerment to language death. We
look for
  storytellers who can explain what it feels like to loose
one’s language.
We aim to include material from as many different languages as
possible in the film, but we have a limited budget. Thus we are
looking for local contributions.
You can
  participate in three different ways.
1.    you can submit new material.
2.    you can submit material already
3. you can send us contacts to speakers of endangered languages.
We are looking for charismatic storytellers who can tell moving
personal stories to the world in their own language. The issues to
be covered are:
1. The language generation gap – fx how does it feel to live in a
family where grand parents and
  grand children find it hard to
communicate, because the language of the older generation was not
passed on?
2. The last speakers – fx how does it feel to be among the last few
speakers of a language?
3. Language suppression (economic, social, political, cultural) –
fx how do
  people cope with situations, when their language is not
given space in the public sphere? What does it mean to a community,
if their language is forbidden or drained of resources?
4. Language and technology – fx how are speakers of endangered
languages affected by globalization and the new information
We are also looking for success stories such as:
5. Language revitalization – fx how did a particular endangered
language community manage to turn the situation around and
revitalize their language?
6. Other vital language issues? –  YOU might come up with something
brilliant, which we were
  not even able to conceptualize – given the
limitations of our language…
If you want to participate in “Voices”, please start by sending us an
email introducing yourself, your language or the language you are
engaged with. Please also describe your contribution and in what way
you would like to collaborate with us. We will then send you more
information about the project, more specifications of what we are
looking for and technical requirements.
Contact:  Voices of the World Project manager: Signe Byrge Sørensen  
byrge at final-cut.dk; Forbindelsesvej 7; 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark Tel:  
+45 35 43 60 43, Fax: +45 35 43 60 44;  Don’t miss this opportunity to  
present YOUR language as part of the bigger picture.

André Cramblit: andre.p.cramblit.86 at alum.dartmouth.org is the  
Operations Director Northern California Indian Development Council  
NCIDC (http://www.ncidc.org) is a non-profit that meets the development  
needs of American Indians

To subscribe to a news letter of interest to Natives send an email to:  
IndigenousNewsNetwork-subscribe at topica.com or go to:  

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