Nov 18, 2011

Congress on Indigenous Languages in Chile

Promoting cultural and linguistic diversity in Chile

November 18-19, 2011


The Congress aims to highlight the importance of the intercultural dialogue between the indigenous people and the rest of society in Chile, including the government and public institutions. This dialogue must bring about a substantial change in the way indigenous languages and cultures are perceived across the country. Indigenous languages must be regarded as a source of knowledge and therefore the need to further spread their use whilst strengthening mutual respect between indigenous and non-indigenous communities is a top priority. These activities will also continue the debate about the strategies to truly protect linguistic diversity in the country.



General Objective:

1-. Follow up the agreements reached during previous meetings, focusing on the protection of the language and the education rights of indigenous peoples. 


2. Strengthen the dialogue between indigenous peoples, public institutions and civil society in order to foster linguistic and cultural diversity in the country.


Specific Goals:

1. Promote the importance of indigenous cultures and languages in the public sector.


2. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current teaching strategies as well as state policies implemented to improve the teaching of indigenous languages.


3. Reach an agreement regarding a proposed bill to create a General Law on Indigenous Rights and discuss the strategies to start negotiations on a parliamentarian level.



Linguistic and Educational Rights for indigenous peoples and linguistic strategies.

New and innovative indigenous languages learning techniques and learning experiences among children, youngsters and adults.

Teaching methodologies for indigenous languages.

Promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity in the private and public media.

Challenges in the development of indigenous languages.

Traditional knowledge and intellectual property.



The Congress will combine discursive strategies used by both the academic community and the indigenous peoples. Depending on the Congress schedule an additional time for oral presentations on personal or group experiences will be also allocated. A systematization of files and documents consisting of the works, debates and agreements reached during the conference will be made available to the participants and the general public at large to facilitate the sharing of knowledge on the issues covered by the Congress.


The event will also serve as a platform to promote cultural activities such as art workshops, theatre plays, poetry reading, music and dance acts.


The Congress will see the participation of different age groups: children, young adults, adults and the elderly. Participants are also community and social leaders, pundits, academics, local and traditional instructors, civil servants and officials working in the fields of education or indigenous issues.


Media, both private and public, such as radio, television and newspapers are also invited to participate in the debates and roundtables. The aim is to provide a platform where media and local communities can debate the question of promoting cultural diversity and whether the media does anything to endorse such causes.