Michif is classified as a mixed language: it combines Plains Cree and Métis French*, with some words borrowed from English and other languages such as Ojibwe and Assiniboine. It developed during the 19th century among descendents of First Nations women, mainly from the Cree, Nakota and Ojibwe, and fur traders of European ancestry, especially of French and Scottish origin.
Michif is also known as Mitchif, Mechif, Michif-Cree, Métif, Métchif or French Cree. It is spoken by about 730 people, according to the 2010 and 2011 censuses. Michif speakers can be found in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and the Northwest Territories in Canada, and in North Dakota in the USA, mainly in the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.
*Métis French is a variety of French spoken by descendents of indigenous and European Canadians.
Q and X are only used in non-Michif names and loan words.
Details of the Michif alphabet provided by Michael Peter Füstumum
Toñ Periinaan, dañ li syel kayaayeen kiichitwaawan toñ noo. Kiiya kaaniikaanishtaman peetoteiie kaandaweetaman taatochiikateew ota dañ la ter taapishkoch dañ li syel. Miinaan anoch moñ paeñiinaan poneeiiminaan kamachitotamaak, niishtanaan nkaponeemaanaanik anikee kaakiimaiitotaakoyaakuk kayakochii'inaan, maaka pashpii'inaan aayik ochi maachiishiiweepishiwin. Answichil.
Information about the Michif language
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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