Michif Metis Museum in British Columbia
Learn about the Michif Language. This webpage is dedicated to the preservation of the Michif Language. It is part of the Metis Museum of British Columbia.

Michif Language
Michif words and phrases by themes. Sask Learning and Ile-à-la Crosse School Division created this site. It is an excellent directory.

Michif & Metis Cultural Site
Michif was a trade language that developed originally in the 1700's between the French/English fur traders and the Cree/Algonkian/Sioux speakers from Ontario and Manitoba. As the Fur Trade spread north and west to Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Territories in the 1800's so too did the Michif language. Primarily it follows the grammatical rules of Cree (an Algonkian language), while adopting a large vocabulary of words from the French language. There are several dialects of Michif, with the most common blending French and Cree words. Other dialects include the blending of French and/or English with other First Nations languages such as Dene or Sioux. A Michif dialect using Saulteaux (an Algonkian language) is also common to the Métis, who live on the Plains.
external image boysonbarg.jpgIn the late 1800's Metis speakers emigrating from Manitoba - Red River, joined Metis speakers from Saskatchewan - Batoche to further blend the Metis language in the north with a southern flavour. In the 1900's the residential schools, hospitals, and churches in the north were run by French nuns and priest, thereby reinforcing French nouns into the Metis vocabulary. Today in northern Saskatchewan, Michif and English are the predominate languages spoken in a number of communities - I'le a la Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Beauval, Pinehouse, and Greenlake. Other communities(First Nations) founded on the west side, such as Canoe Lake, maintain one of the Cree dialect languages and hence reinforce the Cree syntax base of Michif, or are Dene speaking, such as LaLoche, and have no impact on Michif.
Modern technology, primarily TV, is hastening Michif, along with a host of other First Nations language to extinction, however, it is with the use of modern technology that this unique world language can be saved. This site is an endeavor to do so.