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Aboriginal English in Canada

See also: Australian Aboriginal English and American Indian English
Indigenous peoples
in Canada
A life-sized bronze statue of an Aboriginal and eagle above him; there is a bear to his right and a wolf to his left, they are all looking upwards towards a blue and white sky
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
History
  • Paleo-Indians
  • Pre-colonization
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  • Residential schools
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  • Conflicts
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Politics
  • British Columbia Treaty Process
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  • / Case law
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Culture
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Demographics
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  • AB
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Linguistics
  • Indigenous languages
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  • Indigenous English Dialects
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Religions
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    • Inuit religion
Index
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  • Portal:Indigenous peoples of the Americas
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WikiProject

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First Nations

  • Commons
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Inuit

  • Commons
  • Wiktionary

Métis

  • Commons
  • Wiktionary

Indigenous English, also known as First Nations English, refers to varieties of English used by the Indigenous peoples of Canada. They are outwardly similar to standard Canadian English from the perspective of a non-Canadian. However, they differ enough from mainstream Canadian speech that Indigenous peoples (the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) are often identifiable by their speech to non-Indigenous people. This is primarily the result of the influence of non-English accents derived from Indigenous languages combined with a history of geographical and social isolation, since many Aboriginal people live (or formerly lived) in remote communities, in the North, or on Indian reserves.

Some analyses have concluded that contemporary Indigenous Canadian English may represent the late stages of a decreolization process, among peoples who historically spoke more creolized or pidginized forms of English. Since the 1990s, The use of these "non-standard" dialects is not well perceived by the non-Aboriginal majority, evidenced by mockery and discrimination. Some features of the dialects, for example, may have led aboriginal children to be wrongly diagnosed as having a speech impairment or a learning disability. Academics have begun to recommend that Canadian schools accept Indigenous varieties of English as valid English, and as a part of Indigenous culture.

Few written works appear in Indigenous English dialects; an exception is Maria Campbell's Stories of the Road Allowance People, a collection of Métis folktales. An example from that work illustrates the type of speech used by Elders in rural Métis communities during her research (though some stories were collected in Cree or other languages, and translated into dialectical English by Campbell):

Dere wasen very much he can steal from dah table anyways
'cept da knives and forks.
An Margareet he knowed he wouldn dare take dem
cause dat woman you know
hees gots a hell of a repetation for being a hardheaded woman
when he gets mad.

Dat man he have to be a damn fool to steal from hees table. - Dah Teef

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Aboriginal English in Canada, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).


Date of last edit: 2021-01-29T13:18:09.000Z