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2006 Census: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006 Census: Métis

Older Métis more likely to speak an Aboriginal language

An estimated 4% of Métis spoke an Aboriginal language in 2006, compared with 5% in 2001. The ability to converse in an Aboriginal language was more common among rural Métis than urban Métis (6% versus 2%). Though few Métis speak an Aboriginal language, according to the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, about half reported that keeping, learning or relearning their Aboriginal language was very or somewhat important to them.1

Older Métis were more likely to speak an Aboriginal language. An estimated 12% of Métis aged 75 years and over were able to converse in an Aboriginal language, compared with 9% of those aged 65 to 74, and 6% of people aged 45 to 64. Less than 3% of Métis aged 44 and under spoke an Aboriginal language.

The most commonly spoken Aboriginal language among Métis is Cree. In 2006, 9,360 Métis could carry on a conversation in Cree, an Algonquian language. This compares with 1,620 who spoke Dene, an Athapaskan language, 1,345 who spoke Ojibway, another Algonquian language and fewer than 1,000 who spoke other Algonquian languages, including Michif. Michif is the traditional language of the Métis which evolved from the intermingling of Cree and French languages.

Figure 5 Percentage of the Métis population with knowledge of an Aboriginal language, by age groups, Canada, 2006


  1. Statistics Canada. 2003. Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001 – Initial Findings: Well-being of the Non-reserve Aboriginal Population. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 89-589-XIE.

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