Public education – critical for preserving indigenous languages and cultures

published 27 July 2020 updated 16 July 2024

EI’s Mexican member SNTE presented the Los Pinos Declaration at a virtual seminar on 15 July. It is the final document of the event that closes the International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019, held on 27-28 February 2020 in Mexico City.

The Declaration seeks to complete the incorporation of indigenous languages, language diversity and aspects related to multilingualism into the worldwide frameworks for sustainable development. It is also intended to be a national reference for the development of public policies that take into account cultural diversity in Mexico.

The Declaration identifies strategic directions for action to ensure the recognition of indigenous languages in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres, including:

  • Inclusive, equitable education and learning environments for the promotion of indigenous languages. This includes the presence of these languages in the administration of justice and in public services, digital empowerment and the promotion of language technology and indigenous media.
  • Safeguarding and protecting cultural and linguistic heritage: creating equality of employment opportunity in indigenous languages and for indigenous languages and using them to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Ensuring the availability of training and refresher courses for indigenous language teachers in their original languages.
  • Guaranteeing the availability of sufficient educational materials, textbooks and guides for teachers in all original languages;
  • Guaranteeing education for everyone;
  • Confirming the participation of indigenous people in decision-making, consultation and planning processes and policy implementation.

The main elements of the Los Pinos Declaration will also constitute lessons and key points for the development of the future Global Action Plan for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 18 December 2019.