Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho, ko tōku reo tōku māpihi maurea
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul
2022 marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-32), which recognises the right to revitalise and promote languages, and linguistic diversity around the world.
Many indigenous languages are in a critical state. The Decade aims to help our global community work together to preserve these languages for generations to come.
In keeping with this international priority, the NZ National Commission for UNESCO, has teamed up with its counterpart the Canadian Commission, to bring to you messages from our countries Governor-Generals - two proudly indigenous woman, whose identity and culture, is guided by their indigenous languages.
In the below messages, the Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu) and her Canadian counterpart the Right Honourable Mary Simon (Inuk), speak about the importance of te reo Māori and Inuit languages, and the efforts to revitalise them in Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada.