Speaking an indigenous language in contemporary times is an act of rebellion and resistance. In order for indigenous communities to participate in lowering the curve in this pandemic, a pandemic that has put the world upside down. It is a human right to have information in your language; for this reason, CIELO is training interpreters remotely on how to adjust in current times. We have held our first training on how to interpret remotely with participants in the United States Mexico Guatemala, in the US. The participants were from Mexico City from Oaxaca city from the Mixtec Region, Washington DC, Ohio Oxnard, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, Mexico City.
We are excited at CIELO to share that we have initiated our first tri-national Online Interpreting module to serve indigenous peoples during the COVID19 pandemic better. During the COVID19 epidemic, indigenous peoples are suffering; workplaces are closing permanently, our communities are struggling to feed their families, pay their monthly rent. Indigenous people that have contracted COVID19 have been neglected by hospital dues to language barriers they have not been able to communicate with doctors and hospital staff to express their symptoms or get an update for a family member. It is a human right to understand how COVID-19 is affecting our health, how to take care of yourself, and how to take care of your family. However, if this information is not in a language that you understand, it makes it impossible to know to take care of yourself to take care of your family.
Many indigenous interpreters have not gotten the proper training to become a court or medical interpreter, a vast majority of indigenous interpreters are self taught. However, CIELO’s mission is to support indigenous language speakers and interpreters to be well prepared and understand both worlds. Indigenous interpreters must be able to relay the message in indigenous worldview to the western world and vice versa. To be able to do so, you have to have the proper training learning the system learning the language learning the worldview of the western world. In the case of medical interpreting, it is a whole different system that we had in our communities of origin, a full different world view that we need now to be able to put into the dominant world we live in.
Given the increasing need for interpreters at a nation wide level, CIELO is committed to providing opportunities for indigenous interpreters to continuing their education.
Executive Director of CIELO