Sana 2019 project was presented at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris

On January 28, representatives of SANA 2019 project team (Svetlana Kolchurina, Oliver Loode, Aleksey Tsykarev)  attended the official opening of the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.


Participants of the festive opening were greeted by UNESCO Secretary-General Audrey Azouley, leaders of indigenous peoples and representatives of states.


SANA 2019 team attended the opening event with the objective to establish contacts with language activists worldwide, to exchange experiences and to present the SANA 2019 project, including to better integrate it in the wider international context.


Aleksey Tsykarev (Director of the Centre for Support of Indigenous Peoples and Public Diplomacy “Young Karelia”, Member of UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Member of Steering Committee of the International Year of Indigenous Languages) delivered a statement during the roundtable discussion. In his speech Aleksey Tsykarev emphasized that so-called global pessimism about the viability of indigenous languages can be overcome through learning, popularization, and dissemination of good practices of community-based language activists. Aleksey Tsykarev presented SANA 2019 as an example of such practices and called upon participants of the meeting to collaborate with the project. Aleksey Tsykarev also expressed his support for the idea of International Decade of Indigenous Languages.


SANA 2019 project coordinators held constructive meetings with colleagues from other global regions, including with Tracey Herbert (First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Canada) and with Kristen Tscherneshoff and Daniel Bogre Udell from Wikitongues. SANA 2019 project partners continue to engage with UNESCO  and other international organizations involved in the implementation of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. 

The project “SANA 2019: Civil Society Network for Preserving and Revitalizing Indigenous Languages” unites organisations for preserving and revitalizing indigenous languages in the Baltic Sea Region and supports the goals of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The project will partly overlap with the UN-proclaimed International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019, to the implementation of which project partners will provide substantive contributions as well as learn from worldwide good practices. The project brings together the following 7 partner organisations: Association “ECHO” (Karelia) as the lead partner, Centre of Support and Public Diplomacy of Indigenous Peoples “Young Karelia” , the Karelian Language House (Republic of Karelia), the Community of the Small-Numbered Izhorian People (Shoikula), Centre for Development of Indigenous Peoples “URALIC” and Seto Cultural Fund (Estonia) and the Saami civil society organisation “Giellabalggis” (Finland). The project is funded by the Baltic Sea NGO programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Pictures: UNESCO and SANA 2019 archive

Statement of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to mark the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages