[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Indigenous Languages

JP Béland lebo.beland at gmail.com
Thu Aug 30 15:56:17 UTC 2012

Good day,

What you say is obviously right. Here's what I have written for the
approach strategy in the Canada Strategy Plan to Reach Aboriginal
Communities, but is generic enough to apply pretty much everywhere: To
achieve success we need to not force our approach to potential
partners, but enhance their own goals by the use of Wikimedia
projects, primarily Wikipedia. Since using the languages on a
every-day basis and at school is the best solution to save them, the
focus of project cannot be solely on Wikipedia, but preferably with
Wikipedia as a tool in an overall community-based project. The key
thing to remember no matter what's the chosen approach is the
importance of making it simple for the Native contributors.

So, the ideal solution in my view would be to join existing
initiatives and projects within indigenous communities and show them
how Wikimedia projects offer a low-cost option to achieve their goals.
However, I think by actively seeking cooperation with and showing them
opportunities, we may be the spark that they need to start a
community-based project.

Here`s the strategy plan I was talking about for the Canadian project:

Again, thanks for your input and this is definetly something everybody
involved need to keep in mind.

Wela'lin (thanks in Mi'kmaq),

2012/8/30, M. Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com>:
> 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
> indigenous communities.
> 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 real one,
> 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 at gmail.com>
>> Good day,
>> 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.
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Indigenous_Languages (or just
>> 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
>> be crated.
>> Thanks,
>> JP Béland
>> (alias Amqui)
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