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Sakhalin Energy — the general sponsor of the Second International Symposium in the Languages of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North of the RF Far East

On the International Mother Language Day, which is celebrated on 21 February, the Association of Museums of the Sakhalin Oblast announced the launch of the project — the Second International Symposium in the Languages of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North of the RF Far East.

Sakhalin Energy took on the role of the general sponsor of the project. Natalia Gonchar, Head of Social Performance, emphasised that thereby the company continued its long-term activities aimed at supporting the languages and culture of the small indigenous peoples of the North. “It is common knowledge that a people can only exist as long as it has its language,” she said. “This is an area where there is so much to be done, and in which it is particularly important to unite efforts.”

As part of the project, it is planned to carry out activities that will help to preserve the languages of the small indigenous peoples of the North of the Far East. They include the Regional Youth Conference of Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities, the publication of new editions in their mother tongues, workshops with the participation of native speakers and Russian scholars, and the Second International Symposium in 2019.

Evgenia Firsova, President of the Association of Museums of the Sakhalin Oblast, said that the first regional symposium in the languages of the small indigenous peoples of the North of the RF Far East was held in October 2014. The idea to organise the event had been suggested by the Sakhalin ethnographer Tatyana Roon. The participants of the Symposium in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk had delivered reports in the Uilta, Nivkh, Nanai, Evenki, Ainu and other languages. “More than 40 people, including representatives of the Sakhalin indigenous minorities, participated in the event, but in contrast to the participants from other parts of the Far East, there were no young people among the speakers from the island. For this reason, this time we decided to start with the Regional Youth Conference to involve the younger generation in the creative process of getting to know better and learning their mother tongue,” she explained.

The United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages in order to support and revitalise the languages of indigenous minorities. The Second International Symposium in the Languages of the Small Indigenous Peoples of the North of the RF Far East, designed to be implemented over two years, is timed to this event.

22 February 2018

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