Logo of the UNESCO 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages





During their 2020 annual meetings, the Linguistic Society of America and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) celebrated the closing of the UN's International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019) with a special event on Thursday, January 2nd. The event's organizers were Keren Rice (SSILA Past President), Shannon Bischoff (SSILA Past Program Chair), Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada (CELP 2019 Chair), and Carmen Jany (CELP 2020 Chair).

The joint event featured brief introductory remarks about the UN's proclamation for IYIL2019 and the IYIL decade (2023-2032), as well as the groups presenting their work at the event [see the slides here]. Following the remarks, audience members were invited to speak with featured groups working on Indigenous languages locally, including the Koasati Language Project, the Muskogee Language Project, the Houma Language Project, the Chickasaw Nation Language Project, and the Mississippi Choctaw Language Project, in addition to representatives of CoLang 2020 and DEL/DLI.

1. Representatives of the Koasati Language Project

  • Gwyneth Thompson (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana)
  • Linda Langley (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana)

2. Representatives of the Muskogee Language Project

  • Jennifer Johnson (Seminole Nation; University of Oklahoma)
  • Jack Martin (William & Mary, Professor)

3. Representatives of the Houma Language Project

  • Donny Verdin (Houma Language Project)
  • Ben Wood (Houma Language Project)
  • Hali Dardar (Houma Language Project)
  • Colleen Billiot (Houma Language Project)

4. Representatives of the Chickasaw Nation Language Project

  • Josh Hinson (Chickasaw Nation; Chickasaw Language Revitalization Program, Director)
  • Juliet Morgan (Chickasaw Language Revitalization Program)

5. Representatives of the Mississippi Choctaw Language Project

  • Jason Lewis (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians)
  • De Laura Saunders (Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians)

6. Representatives of CoLang 2020

  • Mizuki Miyashita (University of Montana, Professor; CoLang 2020, Director)
  • Samantha Prins (University of Montana, Graduate student)

7. Representatives of DEL/DLI

  • Kristine Hildebrandt (Southern Illinois University, Professor)