History, Language and Culture

Jul 01, 2019

UNPO membership spans the globe and is composed of a diverse range of peoples, with distinct histories, languages and cultures. Often these are under threat due in large part by the fact that the UNPO member peoples are lacking in effective representation at the national level. This can lead to national policies, particularly around education, that, whether intentionally or not, threaten the existence of the people, their identity, language and culture.

The ability to freely maintain, promote and celebrate their history, language and culture is a large reason why many of the members of the UNPO have joined the organization. Membership in the UNPO provides a forum to celebrate these distinct languages and cultures and promote historical remembrance on the international stage. For some, celebration and remembrance on the international stage and in countries of refuge is the only form of resistance that they have to the oppression and cultural domination that their peoples are subjected to at home.

Occassionally, UNPO Members come together to jointly celebrate their cultures, leading to a wonderful exhibition of the diversity of the World's peoples. This happens every 18 months at the UNPO General Assembly meetings. Moreover, in 2012 UNPO Members jointly commissioned a cookbook, Native Delights: UNPO Cookbook, (avilable for purchase on Amazon) and in 2014 a music album, The Rough Guide to Music without Frontiers (also available for purchase on Amazon), designed to introduce the public to the food and music of unrepresented peoples. And the UNPO Foundation, with its partners at Oxford University, has developed a Model UNPO pedagogical programme designed to introduce students, from primary school through tertiary education, to unrepresented peoples more generally.