From the Celts to the Arctic: Saami Parliamentarian and Norwegian Minister welcomed Wikimedia languages

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3 июля 2021 года

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«Celtic Knot 2020» Wikimedia Language Conference this year passed the baton to the Nordic people, but will come back to the British Iles next. Participants welcomed funding creation of encyclopedic content in the languages of the indigenous peoples, as well as the European Commission initiative to assure full digital equality of all 24 Official and about 60 other local languages by 2030, as well as active participation in this work of various local stakeholders and Wikimedia affiliates.


Arctic Knot
Wikimedia Language Conference
Online · 24-25 June 2021


Ceremonial welcomes on behalf of the organizers and representatives of Norway's political communities were well-balanced and didn’t take too long.


Traditional thematic Telegram-chats this time were complemented by the Qiqochat platform that provided the offline conference type environment — visual interaction, relaxation/social room with a set of indigenous people’s music, sections with the event program and various links, and other probably useful functions. Live program was organized in one stream with everything available also on YouTube-channel, which was easily accessible old-style from the event’s Meta-Wiki page. The conference was running in the global citizens' language (English), so there were few Russian-speaking participants in online discussions and chats in general, and representatives of the Indigenous Languages of Russia in particular.



However Russia itself, importance of Russian language, as well as contribution of Russia’s citizens towards preservation of the languages of the Arctic and Circumpolar Region was well visible:

Russian-speaking Wikimedians were represented



Key analytical overview presentations on the topic of the conference were delivered by Professors Michael Rießler from the University of Eastern Finland and Trond Trosterud from the Arctic University of Norway. The first one analyzed reasons assuring sustainability of the languages of the Arctic, the second one presenting a statistical analysis of Wikipedias in these languages, showcasing best practices of supporting those and indirectly praising both Wikimedia Russia and Wikimedia Languages of Russia Community.



In between presentations participants enjoyed slow-motion videos of raindeers in winter Norway, listened to indigenous music, interacted with one another, experimented with presented tools, watched presentations from the Video Pool or kept themselves busy offline.



Key sessions of the second half of the first day were

  • Panel debate: «What role can indigenous language Wikipedia versions play in the strengthening of literacy for the circumpolar indigenous languages?», in the course of which the general idea that «it’s important to assure direct funding of Wiki-content creation in the indigenous languages» was born and expressed,
  • Keynote by the Wikidata founder Dr. Denny Vrandečić on the recently approved new projects WikiFunctions and Abstract Wikipedia, and the importance of effectively using existing human resources for assuring language preservation, as well as
  • the cultural program «Radio cinema: A picture can cause changes», in the course of which conference participants were submerged into the Archive materials backed story of Indigenous peoples' lives in the mid-20th century Norway.



Day 2 Program was no less intensive, but it’s particularly important to mention presentations by:

  • Wikimedia Germany representative on their participation in a wider European initiative to achieve full digital equality of all 24 Official languages of the European Union and some 60 other local languages by 2030, worked on as a part of the UNESCO announced Decade of Action for Indigenous languages (2022—2032) .
  • Wikimedia UK representative responsible for supporting the community developing Scots Wikipedia and a discussion with the representative of the upcoming Dagbani Wikipedia
  • Welsh Language Technology Specialist of the Welsh Government about why Wikipedia is important for them
  • Wikimedia Canada on their work with Atikamek indigenous nation and the continuing support in developing Wikipedia in the eponymous language


All images, presentation slides and separate videos are collected in the conference category at the Wikimedia Commons, with Day 1 and Day 2 recordings being available in full on YouTube. Main Program and Video Pool pages, as well as separate presentations of great practical value for representatives of various Wikipedias in the languages of Russia are planned for interpretation into Russian.


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Original Reporting
This article is written by Фархад Фаткуллин (Frhdkazan) specially for Russian Multilingual Wikinews. It contains previously unpublished materials or research sourced by the author. The article was verified and published by an uninvolved editor Александр Красоткин (Krassotkin). You can freely copy, distribute or change this article for any purposes necessary, including commercial ones, without requesting any approval, as long as you quote the author, source and the license. This way, for example: Фархад Фаткуллин, Александр Красоткин; Wikinews; CC BY 2.5. You must also mark introduced changes if any. Image licenses should be clarified from Wikimedia Commons.
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