Atikamekw is a variety of Cree, an Algonquian language, and is spoken in southwestern Quebec in Canada. According to the 2016 census, there are 6,165 speakers of Atikamekw. They live mainly between La Tuque (Capetciwotakanik), Quebec (Opictikweak) and Senneterre, and along the upper reaches of the Saint Maurice river. The language is also known as Attikamek, Tête de Boule, Attimewk, Atihkamekw or Atikamek.
The Atikamekw people, who call themselves Nehiraw-iriniw, are a politically distinct nation, so although Atikamekw is a variety of Cree, it is often considered a separate language.
Atikamekw is spoken by about 95% of the Atikamekw people. Most also speak French, though some are monolingual in Atikamekw. It is used in primary schools, in local government, on TV and online.
Atikamekw was first written by missionaries, and the spelling system was standardised by the Institut linguistique atikamekw (ILA), which was set up in 1986.
Long vowels can be indicated by a circumflex accent, but this is not often used in writing.
Weckatc ka pe apicician ni ki mireriten notcimik e tacikeian mamowi ninikihikok.
E takwakik ni kospihenan ka pe pipona nac kotc e iti miroskamik ka ickwa piponiciak. Ite ka ici nokiak ka niskwetinak icinikatew. Minawatc e ici mikawian nitata ko kicepa orapikatepan nicw otema.
9. Ekoni tca ke ici aiamihaiekw: ‘Notawinan, wakwek ka tacikein, ni nataweritenan kitci kicteritcikatek kiticinikasowin, 10. kitci otcitciparik kokimawin, kaie e iteritaman kitci totcikatek ota askik tapickotc wakwek. 11. Miricinan anotc ke mitciak. 12. Kaie kasihamawicinan e matci totamak, tapickotc e ici ponerimakitcik aniki ka matci totawimitcik. 13. Kaie akawir pakitinicinan kitci kokwetcihikoiak Matci Manito. [Kir meka kai ci tataman okimawin, mackawisiwin, acitc icperitakosiwin, kakike nespitc. Kekora ki iki.]’
Source: Kice Manito Ocki Omirwatcimowin. Le Nouveau Testament en atikamekw Société biblique canadienne, Toronto - 2014.
Information provided by Wolfgang Kuhl
Information about the Atikamekw language and people
Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw / Atikamekw National Council
Page last modified: 22.04.21
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