2019 was declared by the UN General Assembly as the International language of indigenous peoples, and the Sana 2019 team decided to gather best practices for the preservation and revival of indigenous languages.

Initiatives belong to the most ordinary people — teachers, journalists, social activists, designers. Best practices have become a success story thanks to the optimism and activity of the initiators. They believed in their abilities and were able to convince others that their ideas would contribute to the revival of languages.

We hope that the experience presented in the publication will motivate and inspire language activists around the world to continue the important work on the preservation and revival of native languages.



Produced by indigenous language activists, the first Erzya-language feature film has united the Erzya-speaking community.

Paro Production Studio

Songwriters and musicians have united to create youth-oriented popular music in the Komi language.

Olga Deminskaya

The House of the Karelian Language is a local community’s initiative launched to preserve the Karelian language and bring it back into fashion in a given settlement.

The House of the Karelian Language NGO

First textbook in the Izhorian language since 1937.

Dmitry Kharakka-Zaytsev, Marina Kharakka-Zaytseva, Nikita Dyachkov

Artists, academicians and language activists have united with a local Karelian community to bring the Karelian language back into fashion in a given settlement.

Young Karelia centre and University of Helsinki, supported by the Kone Foundation

The language activists use T-shirts, stickers, decals and hashtags as hooks that arouse public attention and curiosity. And it works, especially for the youth.

Nevond youth information and legal centre of indigenous peoples

The Country of Languages is a network for language activists where they can connect and share practices, ideas and tools, aimed at language diversity preservation across Russia.

Vasily Kharitonov

A quest has turned the Votic Museum into an attractive place for family leisure and study of Votic and Izhorian, languages of Votes and Izhorians, small-numbered indigenous Finno-Ugric peoples.

Marina Petrova, Marina Ilyina, Nikita Dyachkov

The project has had many practical results, but, most importantly, it has inspired the local community for the study of the indigenous language study and for language activism.

Kasum Yoh centre for culture and history

When the intergenerational language transference is lost, a simple, efficient and relatively fast way to expand the number of speakers is to organize a language nest.

The House of the Karelian Language NGO

Created to use the indigenous language, rather than to theorize about it, the Breathing Exercises Video Course is a modern, applicable and useful women-oriented content in the Karelian language.

Young Karelia centre

Matku Puudogaspäi Pariižassah is a project aimed at promoting the Karelian language, culture, traditions and trades, such as flax industry, through an entertaining educational animated video.

Maria Valeeva

Extending the use of indigenous Finno-Ugric languages to the world of comics.

Sanna Hukkanen

Simple yet impactful solution to enhance the usage of Votic language on the Internet.

Keeleleek NGO

Publishing of a popular Estonian children’s magazine Täheke in Kihnu language.

Project author: SA Kihnu Kultuuriruum (Kihnu Cultural Space Foundation)

First-ever Skype-based Livonian language course creates a community of language enthusiasts.

Kolkas radošā grupa NGO (Kolka’s Creative Group NGO)

Revitalizing a dialect of Estonian language through community-based study groups and developing of a dictionary.

MTÜ Juminda poolsaare selts (Juminda Peninsula Society NGO)

Facebook group of Võro-language Internet means builds a virtual community.

Sulev Iva

Cooking videos in Seto language promote both Seto cuisine and language.

MTÜ Seto Küük (Seto Kitchen NGO)

Seto teenager publishes a songbook of traditional Seto songs.

Obinitsa Naisselts MIITSIRK (Obinitsa Women’s Society MIITSIRK)

Youtube channel for Seto-language news and commentary stimulates interest in Seto language and culture.

Seto Infoselts (Seto Information Society NGO)

Seto children participate in development of a workbook of Seto word-games.

Annela Laaneots