Michif Languages

The Michif languages are historically linked to Métis communities across the Métis homeland. The three Michif languages, commonly referred to as Southern Michif, Northern Michif, and Michif French, and are made up of elements from both First Nations languages and European languages – predominantly Cree and French.
Northern Michif
is a mostly Cree-based Michif language, with fewer French nouns than Southern Michif or Michif French. Northern Michif has historically been spoken in Northwestern Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta[3]. Northern Michif may also be referred to as Michif-Cree or Île-à-la-Crosse Michif.
Southern Michif
uses mostly Plains-Cree verbs and French nouns, but also borrows nouns from English, Saulteaux, and Cree[1]. Southern Michif is most associated with communities in southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota[2]. Southern Michif may also be referred to as Heritage Michif, Mixed Michif, or Turtle Mountain Chippewa Cree.
Michif French
is based on a Western Canadian dialect of French, with some Saulteaux and Cree words[4]. Michif French has historically been tied to communities like St. Laurent and St. Eustache in Manitoba[5]. Michif French may also be referred to as French Michif.

The Amelia Douglas Institute aims to support all three Michif languages. On this page, we share language resources for Northern, Southern, and Michif French.
The Words of Our Ancestors
To learn more about the Michif languages, and starting your language learning journey, check out The Words of Our Ancestors: An Introduction to Michif and Indigenous Language Revitalization by clicking on the button below or watch the video series featuring Jordan Waunch
words of our ancestors


1 - Peter Bakker and Richard Papen, “Michif and other languages of the Canadian Métis,” University of Amsterdam and Université du Québec a Montréal (2003): 3.
2 - Maria Mazzoli, “Michif Loss and Resilience in Four Métis Communities,” Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien no. 39 (2019): 98.
3 - Mazzoli, 98.
4 - Mazzoli, 98.
5 - Lawrence Barkwell. “Michif Language Background Paper – An Overview of the Last 35 Years,” Métis National Council, Gabriel Dumont Institute, and the Louis Riel Institute (2017): 3.