Biocultural Diversity, Language, and Environmental Endangerment - Panel discussion with Winona LaDuke, Luisa Maffi, and K. David Harrisonesota

photo source: University of Minnisota/David Harrison

Winona LaDuke is a Native American activist, environmentalist, and writer, with books including The Militarization of Indian Country (2011), Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999), and a novel – Last Standing Woman (1997). K. David Harrison is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Swarthmore University and author of The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages. Linguist, anthropologist, and ethnobiologist Luisa Maffi is cofounder and director of Terralingua, an international non-governmental organization founded in 1996 by a group of committed individuals from different backgrounds who shared a fundamental set of beliefs in biocultural diversity. The panel was chaired by Mary Hermes, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota.. Part of the University Symposium on Abundance & Scarcity.

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Luisa Maffi | Biocultural Diversity - Cultures Are No Museum Specimens | The European Magazine - The Opinion Magazine

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Should we care about biological and cultural diversity even if its decline does not affect us? Martin Eiermann talked with the anthropologist and linguist Luisa Maffi about the value of diversity, ecological resilience and an environmentalist’s commitment to humanism.

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Terralingua’s Index of Linguistic Diversity on National Geographic News Watch

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Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongues. David Braun of National Geographic News Watch interviewed Maffi, David Harmon, and Jonathan Loh about the Index of Linguistic Diversity. “For the past several years, we had been hearing anecdotal reports about endangered languages–how we’re losing languages by the day, how we may lose 50-90 percent of languages before the end of the century. But nobody had any reliable quantitative data to corroborate these claims,” says Luisa Maffi, co-founder and director of Terralingua. “But now a new Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD), the first of its kind, shows quantitatively, for the first time, what’s really happening with the world’s languages.”

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