Open main menu

Cree language

Algonquian language spoken by people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador, making it the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada

Cree /ˈkr/[4] (also known as Cree–MontagnaisNaskapi) is an Algonquian language spoken by about 117,000 people across Canada from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador.[1] This makes it the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada.[1] Despite having a large number of speakers within this wide-ranging area, the only region where Cree has any official status is in the Northwest Territories. This is along with eight other official aboriginal languages.

Native toCanada; United States (Montana)
Native speakers
120,000 (2006 census)[1]
(including MontagnaisNaskapi and Atikamekw)
Latin, Canadian Aboriginal syllabics (Cree)
Official status
Official language in
Northwest Territories[2]
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1cr
ISO 639-2cre
ISO 639-3creinclusive code
Individual codes:
crk – Plains Cree
cwd – Woods Cree
csw – Swampy Cree
crm – Moose Cree
crl – Northern East Cree
crj – Southern East Cree
nsk – Naskapi
moe – Montagnais
atj – Atikamekw
A rough map of Cree dialect areas
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Statistics Canada: 2006 Census
  2. Official Languages of the Northwest Territories (map)
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Cree–Montagnais–Naskapi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh