ORHELIA and anthropology research team member Roza Laptander shares the following from a conference she presented at:
The 13 International Conference on Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP), is an initiative of the International Association of Language and Social Psychology (IALSP), which was organized in conjunction with Mercator, European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning. The conference was last week in Leeuwarden, the capital city of the Friesland (the Netherlands).
On the Conference participants from different parts of the World discussed the present situation of minority languages. How to safe languages and how to make people to speak them again is an urgent question. There were different presentations about the Linguistic Landscape, Communication, Multilinguasm, Teaching Minority languages, Ethnic Minorities and Tourism.
My presentation was about history and modernization of the educational system for indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation. In the Yamal peninsula there are over 14,000 nomadic people with an indigenous Status in the Russian Federation.
The indigenous population of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District are Nenets, Khanty, and Selkups. Many of them live according to their traditional way of life fishing and working with reindeer. Their pre-school age children stay with them and older children are brought up in boarding schools, at a distance from their families and traditional culture. This situation is one of the main reasons of indigenous language loss among the young generation.
At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century the state education for indigenous people was very poor. Only missionaries provided formal education for indigenous people.
The educational system of the Yamalo-Nenetskij district can not ignore the culture and lifestyle of the people, who are reindeer herders, hunters and fishermen.
Their children, studying and living in boarding schools, are separated from their parents, ethnic background for the whole school year time. This 13-th ISCLAP conference was fruitful, productive and connected together scholars from different disciplines who explore language and communication in their social context.