An Official Project of Terralingua
and the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages
An Invitation to Young Indigenous People Ages 18–25
All across the world, young Indigenous people like you are taking the lead in showing ways to live respectfully on Earth. Your languages, your cultures, and your homelands bear the wisdom of generations of ancestors and of your community now — and they have helped make you who you are today. Your people’s wisdom and your own personal experiences are priceless gifts full of much-needed inspiration for the rest of the world.
We at Terralingua — the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to promoting and protecting biocultural diversity — believe that a great way to share these gifts is through personal stories of how young Indigenous people are connecting with their ancestral languages, cultural traditions, and land-based knowledge and practices. That is why we have created the Indigenous Youth Storytellers Circle, a global online gathering of those stories — and we invite you to be a part of it!
The Indigenous Youth Storytellers Circle is a year-long project linked to Terralingua’s flagship publication, Langscape Magazine. We aim to collect and publish personal stories from people ages 18–25 who are involved with:
• reaffirming cultural identity;
• breathing new life into their ancestral languages;
• reconnecting with traditional knowledge and practices, values, and ways of life; and
• reclaiming ancestral links with the land.
The Indigenous Youth Storytellers Circle is recognized as an official project of the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages, so your story has the potential to reach a global audience.
Here are a few examples of Indigenous Youth Stories we’ve already published in Langscape:
• Lina Karolin, from the Ot Danum community in Indonesia, writes about how her family’s preparation of a special form of rice each year was an important part of how she viewed herself as a young Indigenous woman growing up.
• Joe Akerman, of Quw’utsun (Coast Salish) descent, comes home — literally and metaphorically — to the village site of his ancestors on the west coast of Canada, as a sacred space to heal the land and people’s relationships with one another.
• Manju Maharjan of Nepal’s Newar community explains how helping make a traditional type of salad with roasted meat, a dish reserved for special occasions, is an important part of her people’s cultural identity.
If you are an Indigenous person aged 18–25 and would like to tell about your experiences connecting to your ancestral languages, cultures, and lands, we want to hear from you!
Interested? Here’s How You Can Submit Your Story to the Indigenous Youth Storytellers Circle!
First, read about the formats your contribution can take.
Second, fill out the form below. (Come stories are created by several youth; choose one person to fill out the form.)
Third, we’ll send you instructions for sending your story, depending on its format.
• Writing (essay, poem, short fiction, song lyrics, a podcast script, etc.; up to 2,000 words)
• Photography (photoessay with up to 10 pictures, each with a descriptive caption that, altogether, tell a story)
• Video (up to 5 minutes long)
• Audio recording, spoken story (up to 5 minutes long)
• Audio recording, music (original songs or other music; up to 5 minutes long)
• Digital representations of painting, drawing, or other visual art
Your short summary should basically tell us what your story is about and why you’d like to share it in the Indigenous Youth Storytellers Circle.
Follow this link to register
If you have any questions, include them with your email.
How will stories be chosen?
The editors of Langscape will review each contribution received to make sure it addresses the goal of sharing stories of Indigenous Youths’ cultural renewal.
What’s most important is that your contribution be personal and genuine; it does not have to be “perfect” or look like it was done by a professional with lots of experience. We want people who read, look at, or listen to your story to get a strong sense of you as a young Indigenous person.
How will my story be published?
All accepted Indigenous Youth Stories will be published on our web pages. In addition, a selection of stories will also be published in Langscape Magazine, which in 2019 will be devoted entirely to Indigenous Youth Stories. Stories selected for Langscape will appear in both the digital and print editions of the magazine and will receive a small award as a token of appreciation.
Indigenous Youth Stories will be published in English, but can also be submitted in French or Spanish — we’ll translate them into English.
We’ll review stories and publish them online on an ongoing basis throughout the year. However, for a chance to have your story selected for publication in Langscape Magazine, please send it by June 1 for the Summer 2019 issue, and by October 1 for the Winter 2019 issue.