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Thursday, July 26, 2007

A project for the ancestral languages

Translated from El Comercio

, July 26, 2007

The Commission on Indigenous Affairs has sent to the president of the National Congress, Jorge Cevallos, a favorable report on the second debate over the project for a law on the Applicability of Ancestral Languages.

The legal project would allow members of indigenous peoples and nationalities to use their native language to express opinions, requests and demands, orally or in writing, in their public and private legal affairs.

The proposal recognizes the existence and the official use of the languages: Awapit, Ch
ápalaachi, Siapedee, Tsáfiqui, Shuar-Chichan, Achuar-Chichan, Paicoca, Huao Tiriro, Aingae, Sápara, Shiwiar Chichan and Quichua.

Congressman Raul Ilaquiche, president of the Commission, pointed out that in Ecuador different nationalities and indigenous peoples coexist, yet are all part of one single State.

He explained that, according to the proposal, public institutions will promote the use of the languages in an increasing and progressive manner, in judicial affairs, in official documents, as well as in the inscription of personal and family names in the Civil Registry.

Also planned is the strengthening of the National System of Bilingual Intercultural Education, by establishing teaching and research programs at all levels of education.

The Commission's
Report also advises the creation of an advisory body of Ancestral Languages , a technical-academic organisation that will center its work around the direction and support for development and linguistic normalisation, in coordination with the National Directorate of Bilingual Intercultural Education.

The Commission emphasized that in preparing of the report they gathered the opinions of those who contributed observations to the first debate, as well as from the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the Confederation of Farmer and Black Peoples and Organizations, the Ecuadorian Federation of Evangelical Natives (Feine), the Ecuadorian Indignous Federation (FEI), the National Federation of Agro-industrial Workers, Free Farmers and Natives, among others.

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