Métis Languages

The Louis Riel Institute promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of Métis languages, language reclamation and revitalization, as well as implementing best practices in endangered language education.

Many languages spoken by the Red River Métis are at risk because few fluent speakers remain. The Louis Riel Institute is working with language experts, partners, and community members with the goal of reclaiming and strengthening Métis languages.

What Are 'Métis Languages'?

"Métis languages" refers to the languages spoken by the Red River Métis. Historically, the Métis were a polylingual people, meaning they spoke many different languages, such as Michif, Cree, Anishinaabemowin/Saulteaux, Lakota/Dakota/Nakota, Dene, and Bungi/Bungee.

Michif (also called Southern Michif, Heritage Michif, Michif Cree, and Awn/Aan Cree) is a language uniquely spoken by the Métis and exists in a number of dialects, such as Northern Michif (also called Michif, Michif Cree, or Northern Cree), and Michif French.

These languages reflect a diverse yet distinct history of the Métis, and the different social, economic, and political connections to their kin across the homeland.

Our Language Revitalization Pathway

Métis Languages Revitalization Projects

The LRI has engaged language champions from various Métis communities across Manitoba, along with consultants and community language revitalization experts, to form a community-based advisory group.

To date, the LRI has been building community capacity through language revitalization and documentation workshops that will aid in the creation of relevant language programming. The LRI has also begun documenting new language materials and digitizing legacy recordings with the purpose of sharing these valuable resources online.

Métis Languages Learning Resources

The Louis Riel Institute has curated a list of language resources free for public use. Our list of resources includes third-party materials and is constantly growing to suit the needs of learners, speakers, and educators. If you know of any resources that we do not mention, please contact us at metislanguages@lrilearn.ca and we will graciously update our list.

Métis Language Resources


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