Indigenous Languages

The Forks National Historic Site

Over 6,700 languages spoken across the world are in danger of disappearing. The United Nations proclaimed 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages as a way to raise awareness of these endangered languages and celebrate their importance for reclaiming identities and tradition. Indigenous languages are valuable cultural and historical identifiers that connect people and are important tools for reconciliation, relationship building, and economic, social and political development.

The Forks National Historic Site is located within the Homeland of the Métis Nation and on Treaty No. 1 land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree and Oji-Cree. These Indigenous Peoples and their communities have a notable connection to The Forks.

The Forks National Historic Site is the heart of Winnipeg and a nexus for major waterways. Here, people and goods from across the continent have converged for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows that Anishinaabe (Ojibwa), Métis, Cree, Dakota, and Nakoda were present at the site and used this location as a meeting place. The site’s key location on the continent meant that many different groups have traversed the area, who would have spoken a wide variety of languages, from Ojibwe, Cree, Michif, Bungi, English and French.

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