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Public lecture: Language rights for indigenous and tribal peoples, 11 May

Australian National University, Jane Simpson, Shape

Date: 11 May 2017

Lecture: Language rights for indigenous and tribal peoples

Round table presented by the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, ANU and the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS)

When: Thursday 11 May, 6:30pm


Prof Jane Simpson

Prof Liliana Sánchez

Prof Marcus Maia

Norah Xueqing Zhong


Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre (The Tank)

Haydon-Allen Building # 22, ANU

Indigenous languages across the world continue to have a minoritized status despite efforts from indigenous communities, regional and in some cases even national governments to secure policies and practices to turn around this status. The international labour organisation through convention 169 (1989) protects the rights of tribal and indigenous peoples. In Latin America, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,

Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela have ratified this convention and are legally bound to respect the rights conferred by it to indigenous peoples. These include the rights to the full realization of their cultural rights of which language is a vital component. In this round table, we will engage in a discussion about the current state of indigenous languages, language policies, maintenance and revitalization efforts in two Latin American countries, Brazil and Peru, as well as in Australia and China. Our goal is to present different outlooks on language policies and practices affecting indigenous populations in these regions from an international perspective.


Prof Jane Simpson, ANU

Jane Simpson is Chair of Indigenous Linguistics and Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language based at the Australian National University. She has worked on maintenance of Indigenous languages, and a longitudinal study of Aboriginal children acquiring creoles, English and traditional languages (Simpson and Wigglesworth, 2008; Wigglesworth, Simpson and Vaughan, in press).

Prof Liliana Sánchez, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Prof Liliana Sánchez, Rutgers University. Liliana Sánchez is a Professor of Spanish and has worked as a professional consultant for Bilingual Intercultural Education for the Peruvian government and the German Cooperation Agency (GTZ). Her publications include Bilingualism in the Spanish-speaking world (Austin, Blume and Sánchez, 2015), Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism (Sánchez 2003), and work on Peruvian indigenous languages in contact with Amazonian and Andean Spanish (Mayer and Sánchez 2016, in press).

Prof Marcus Maia, Federal State University of Rio

Prof Marcus Maia is a Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics, Director of Graduate studies, Founder of the Experimental Psycholinguistic Laboratory (LAPEX) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Among several other books, he published a volume Manual de Linguística, used in programs of indigenous education at the secondary and tertiary level (Brazil’s Ministry of Education & UNESCO).

Norah Xueqing Zhong, Phd scholar ANU

Yarjis Xueqing (Norah) Zhong, a PhD candidate in linguistics at the Australian National University. She is a native speaker of the Western Yugur language and grew up in the local community in China. She has been trained in linguistics and is currently involved in language documentation, revitalisation and lexicography. She is also contributing to a Western Yugur-English-Chinese online dictionary on an open-source crowdsourcing platform.

This lecture is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University