I think it is important to add that all initiatives should be, as much as
possible, driven by indigenous people themselves and their priorities,
rather than consist of non-speakers, non-community members doing things
"for them" or "on their behalf".
If we want to talk about "stakeholders", let's please remember that the
_native_ speakers (not people learning the language as a hobby) are the
main stakeholders, they should be making the decisions as much as possible
and they should be creating the major part of the content; the rest of us
should be in "support positions".
Anything else, especially as part of a large international organization
rooted in a western society (Wikipedia was born in the US in a circle of
non-indigenous people, and most of the major people in our movement are not
indigenous), would be likely to receive only lukewarm support from
Lots of similar initiatives from lots of organizations and governments have
languished with little support from native speakers due to the same
paternalistic attitudes that are created time and time again. One example I
would like to share of this happening within our own movement is that of
certain people who create hundreds of pages in a language they barely speak
at incubator, on behalf of some idealized group of "native speakers", and
then when the native speakers actually arrive, shouting them down or
telling them why their views are not valid (the indigenous person in their
mind was more "noble" and "exotic" and "special" than the
perhaps?). This has actually happened a lot in Wikipedias created before
the incubation process existed (Nahuatl Wikipedia saw it happen multiple
times, Uyghur Wikipedia saw it happen at one point, countless others where
"hobbyists" shot down real native speakers).
Just some thoughts.
2012/8/29 JP Béland <lebo.beland(a)gmail.com>
I'm pleased to announce you the creation of Wikimedia Indigenous Languages
(WIL). WIL is the coordinating body for the promotion and development of
indigenous on Wikimedia projects.
search WIL on Meta)
Wikimedia Indigenous Languages' vision is to see the sum of the knowledge
available to everybody in their own languages and to share the knowledge of
those languages themselves. It will achieve that by:
- Reaching indigenous languages speakers for the development of Wikimedia
projects in their language
- Establishing working cooperation with outside organizations involved in
the promotion of indigenous languages
- Creating and expanding Wikimedia projects in all indigenous languages
Wikimedia Indigenous Languages' role is to support and encourage the
efforts of specific projects to develop Wikimedia projects in small and
endangered languages. It will serve as an international body to collect and
share best practices, lessons learned and methodology to develop small
languages Wikimedia projects and preserve endangered languages. It will
also offer support to people interested in developing initiatives and new
projects. It will also become the point of contact to set up cooperation
with other organizations working towards the same goals and will also
actively seek such cooperation opportunities.
Anybody or any group who is interested in this project or any projects with
indigenous languages are welcome to join Wikimedia Indigenous Languages.
For questions or further discussion, come on the talk page, and a dedicated
mailing list to discuss languages-related issue and initiatives will soon
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