“Languages are humankind’s principle tools for interacting and for expressing ideas, emotions, knowledge, memories and values. Languages are also primary vehicles of cultural expressions and intangible cultural heritage, essential to the identity of individuals and groups. Safeguarding endangered languages is thus a crucial task in maintaining cultural diversity worldwide (...)” -- UNESCO's Safeguarding Endangered Languages article
The languages of indigenous people in Brazil are threatened, and so are their identities and cultural heritage. As digital inclusion and formal schooling expand, so does the pressure over the native languages, since Portuguese still plays a major role in these social spaces.
To respond to this issue, the NGO Kamuri and Chuva Inc., propose a program to use the web in favour of Brazilian indigenous people, enabling them to produce and distribute relevant content, in their own language.
This is ConnEthnic, a community-based program of collaborative web journalism. In the first phase, it will target four major ethnic communities, and its implementation is expected to begin in the mid of 2010.
This project aims to connect physically distant villages and strengthen their identity and safeguarding cultural heritage by expanding native languages' boundaries into the digital environment.