Indigenous languages are essential to the identity, spirituality and relationships to one another and to mother earth

Anishinimowin

There are 4 Ojibwe-Cree communities in Manitoba and Anishinimowin is a distinct language spoken in Northern Manitoba or the Island Lake area. Ininimowin is a dialect of Anishinaabe with influences from the Ininiw or Cree language.

Michif

Michif is a unique French-Cree creole using French nouns, Cree verbs, and some local vocabulary borrowed from Indigenous languages like Ojibway and Dene. The Métis are well known speakers of many languages. In the past, many Métis spoke up to five or six languages, including Michif, French, Cree, Ojibway and Bungee.

Common Phrases

Inuktituk

Inuktitut is the Inuit language as it is spoken in Nunavut and contains many different dialects depending on location. The majority of speakers in neighbouring communities have few issues communicating with one another but ones further away from each other wouldn't be able to.

Dene

There are 2 Dene communities in Manitoba, Tadoule Lake and Lac Brochet. The Sayisi Dene language is a unique dialect spoken by those from Tadoule Lake, while Lac Brochet's language tends to vary in dialect. The Sayisi were once a nomadic tribe and lived the furthest East of all the Dene. They were called Eastern Dene, which is what Sayisi means, as well as under the sun, when it rises from the East.

Dakota

There are 5 Dakota communities within Manitoba and the Dakota people are part of the greater Ocheti shakowin, the Seven Council Fires. These council fires are across the plains of North America and consist of many different dialects (Lakota, Nakota and Dakota). The common roots and governance system ensures continued understanding as new words were shared at council fire gatherings. Manitoba has representation of all seven council fires, however Lakota is spoken mainly in Saskatchewan and the United States.

Phrases for Semi-Fluent Speakers

Anishinaabemowin

The Ojibwe Language is spoken in Canada and a few northern states in the U.S. The language is known by various names such as Chippewa, Saulteaux, Algonkin and others, however, it is known as Anishinaabemowin to its' speakers. Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario has some of the most fluent speakers of the language and boasts many new speakers over other Indigenous languages in Canada and U.S. Historically the language is written using syllabics and is still honoured to this day, however the language is predominately written using roman orthography

Common Phrases
Colours
Seasons
Shapes

Ininimowin

There are 23 Cree communities within Manitoba and Ininimowin is one of the most widely spoken Indigenous languages in Canada and has 5 major dialects; Western/Plains Cree, Northern/Woodlands Cree, Central/Swampy Cree, Moose Cree, and Eastern Cree. Here is Manitoba, the majority of speakers are “N” dialect/Swampy Cree with many variations in dialect. There is no standard writing system for Ininimowin, but is often written using syllabics or roman orthography.