DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY REGARDING PRESERVATION OF NATIVE LANGUAGES INCLUDING THE DAKOTA, LAKOTA, NAKOTA LANGUAGE.
WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents or their duly appointed representatives of the sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations recognized by Treaties with the United States that are within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and
WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association was formed to promote the common interests of the Great Plains sovereign Indian Tribes and their members in the states of ND, SD and Nebr.; and
WHEREAS, The United Nations General Assembly adopted ARES/61/1295 on September 13, 2007, a resolution entitled the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, where under Article 13, it states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons; and
WHEREAS, Under Article 154, it states “indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their education systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their culture methods of teaching and learning”; and
WHEREAS, The United Nations, in recognizing the importance of languages all over the world declared 2008 as the International Year of Languages; and
WHEREAS, In the 1868 Report to the Indian C0ommissions, it stated that “schools should be established, which children should be required to attend; their barbarous dialect should be blotted out and the English language substituted”; and
WHEREAS, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota and more than 160 other Native languages are threatened with extinction in the next 20 years; and
WHEREAS, The loss of languages is an emergency matter that must be taken care of as soon as possible; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association Hereby declares an emergency because the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota language and other endangered Native Languages, which embody the culture and identity of the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota People and other Tribal Nations whose languages are endangered and in grave danger of being lost forever; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association hereby recognizes the importance of revitalizing the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota language and other native languages, and declares that disparities between the use of native languages and English should be eliminated wherever possible and native languages preserved and enhanced as much as possible; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution shall be the policy of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association until otherwise amended or rescinded.
Resolution No. 68-09-05-08
This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association held at Bismarck, North Dakota on September 5, 2008 at which a quorum was present, with 9 members voting in favor, 0 members opposed, 0 members not abstaining, and 7 members not present.
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