Tag Archives: Language

Chile’s President References “New Deal” with Indigenous Peoples in Annual Address

On May 21st, Chile’s President Piñera gave his annual address in front of Congress for the final time before his term ends. The address is given annually and highlights both accomplishments from the previous year as well as goals for the forthcoming year. In this year’s address (full address in Spanish can be found here), Piñera offerred a few words about Chile’s indigenous groups and his administration’s goals with respect to those peoples. Continue reading

Posted in Chile | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Efforts Made to Recover Kunza Language, Once Thought Extinct

Kunza is the language of the Atacameño or Likan Antay people. Although there are more than 6,000 Atacameñós living in Chile, it has long been believed that their language was extinct. Although much of the language had been recorded and exists on paper, native speakers of Kunza no longer existed. That said, recent efforts by the Atacameño people, coupled with assistance from Conadi (Chile’s Indigenous development corporation), are trying to change that by teaching individuals to once again can speak in their native tongue. Continue reading

Posted in Atacameño, Chile | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chilean Government Invests in Local Mapuche Language Courses

In a press release dated April 9th, CONADI (the Chilean government’s Indigenous development corporation) announced that it would invest approximately US$350,000 in Mapuzungun language courses (the language of the Mapuche people) in the Araucanía Region. The funding would operate much like a block grant and would go “directly to the communities, without intermediaries” according to Deputy Director Germán Riquelme Reuss. Reuss also stated that the goal was to have Mapuche language and culture taught in the traditional way by an elder with knowledge of those things. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Strengthening Indigenous Languages in Chile

During the past week, numerous articles related to indigenous languages in Chile have appeared in the news. While earlier this year there was a major report detailing the potential loss of indigenous languages in Chile (see our article on the report here), the recent press has been about some positive developments occurring throughout Chile. Such developments are the topic of our latest column for I Love Chile News, which you can read here.

Posted in Chile | Tagged | 2 Comments

Mapuche Ask Government to Make Mapuzungun Official Language in Araucanía

February 22nd was UNESCO’s annual International Mother Language Day and in Chile, Indigenous peoples used the day to draw attention to their native languages. Among the celebrations and demonstrations throughout the country was a call from some Mapuche organizations to have Mapuzungun–the Mapuche language–recognized as an official language (along with Spanish) in the Araucanía Region of Chile (where a large number of Mapuche people live). That request, and the other activities that took place on International Mother Language Day, is the topic of our latest column for I Love Chile News, which you can read here.

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged | Leave a comment

Only 11% of Chile’s Indigenous Youth Speak or Understand Their Native Language

On Monday, January 23rd, UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and Chile’s Ministry of Social Development (formerly known as MIDEPLAN) released a study on Indigenous youth in Chile that covered a number of topics. The report revealed that economically, Indigenous youth are in worse shape than their non-Indigenous counterparts. And culturally, the study indicated that 89% of Indigenous youth can neither speak nor understand their Native languages. Continue reading

Posted in Chile | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Congress on Indigenous Languages Held in Santiago, Chile

On Friday and Saturday, November 18-19, in Santiago, Chile the Red por los Derechos Educativos y Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas de Chile (Red ELB) is hosting its second Congress on Indigenous languages. The first was held in 2010 and resulted, among other things, in draft legislation on Indigenous languages on Chile. This year’s event includes many panels and speakers and will also help determine what issues the organization will focus on in the coming year. If you’d like to know more you can read our latest column in I Love Chile News on the event here or visit Red ELB’s website here.

Posted in Chile | Tagged | Leave a comment

CONADI Promotes Indigenous Languages Throughout Chile

Since the beginning of October, CONADI (the Chilean government’s Indigenous development corporation) has issued press releases about numerous efforts throughout Chile to promote Indigenous languages. Most recently, CONADI held a two-day seminar in Cañete to discuss Mapudungun (the Mapuche people’s language) and how the language can better be promoted throughout the country. A summary of recent events and some history about Indigenous languages in Chile is the subject of our latest column for I Love Chile News, which you can read here.

Posted in Chile | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Kawashkar People Sign Historic Agreement to Save Their Culture

Earlier this month, on September 8th, the Kawashkar people of Chile signed an agreement with CONADI (Chile’s Indigenous development corporation) and the Universidad de Magallanes with the goal of saving their culture from extinction. According to the 2002 Chilean Census, there are approximately 2,600 individuals who identify as Kawashkar in Chile, but of those only 24 are considered full-blooded Kawashkar and only 9 are fluent in their traditional language. According to the reports, the idea for the agreement originated with the Kawashkar people who feared their culture, language and traditions would be lost forever if action was not taken quickly. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Kawashkar | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

CONADI Director Visits Mapuche Language Education Projects

Jorge Retamal, the Director of CONADI (the National Indigenous Development Corporation) recently visited Mapudungun education programs in the Araucanía and Los Ríos regions. The projects are designed for rural children and involve Mapudungun (the Mapuche language) classes taught by a werken (a Mapuche spokesperson/leader). These particular programs are mandated by law, as any school with more than 50% Indigenous students is supposed to offer native language classes. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , | Leave a comment