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Grassroots Indigenous Language Exchange and Convening

May 7-13, 2023
Oaxaca, Mexico 

We must act now to ensure the future of our Indigenous languages. Join us on May 7-13, 2023, in Oaxaca, Mexico, to share experiences, learn about best practices, and strategize to revitalize our Indigenous languages. 


About Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival is an Indigenous-led NGO and U.S. registered non-profit that advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures, and political resilience. For 50 years, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples' rights and cultures worldwide. We envision a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance. Since our founding, Cultural Survival has prioritized the revitalization of Indigenous languages. In 2021, we launched our strategic framework to guide our work over the next 4 years, which includes a thematic focus on Languages and Cultures in addition to Climate Change Solutions, Lands and Livelihoods, and Indigenous Community Media and the leadership of Indigenous youth, women, and relatives of other marginalized genders as a cross-cutting theme. Cultural Survival takes on this work through a four-pronged strategy using tools of grantmaking, capacity building, advocacy, and communications.

Action Must Be Taken How to Stop Language Loss

In the last century, governments have aimed to eliminate Indigenous Peoples' identities through boarding schools and homogenization policies that have caused an interruption in the intergenerational transmission of the language. To strive toward Indigenous Peoples’ well being, we must strengthen and revitalize our languages and cultures.

We understand that language is interwoven into all aspects of Indigenous Peoples’ lives: Supporting cultural and language diversity and revitalization directly supports biological diversity. Our languages are central to our cultures; through ceremonies in our languages, we can cultivate reciprocal relationships with the land. Languages come from the land and allow us to communicate our history, cosmovisions, spirituality, values, and knowledge systems. We maintain deep connections with our ancestors and all living creatures through our languages.

We must address the problem of language loss now while our Elders are still alive and we can learn the language breath-to-breath. Cultural Survival aims to plant the seeds to increase the number of grassroots languages revitalization and preservation projects.

Event Details

Our organizational objective:
To increase the number of fluent speakers among Indigenous Peoples by planting the seeds that will grow into new language revitalization programs. 

Our specific objectives for this exchange and convening:

  • Exchange experiences and methodologies for language learning programs. 
  • Share knowledge about the initiation, administration, and management of language programs, including managing personnel, budget, infrastructure, and fundraising. 
  • Establish self-determined agreements for the following months and foster a network of contacts working in the field of language revitalization.

Dates and location:

Arrival: May 7, 2023 
In-person exchange: May 8-10, 2023
Hybrid convening: May 11-12, 2023 
Departure: May 13, 2023

Hotel Victoria, Oaxaca, Mexico

Who can participate? 

  • The in-person exchange is targeted at language practitioners working at the grassroots level. The selection of participants will be done by invitation. 
  • The hybrid convening is open to the general public, donors, policymakers, educators, and other allies interested in supporting the self-determined language revitalization efforts of Indigenous Peoples.   

Contact for more information: 
+1 509 529 6428