Aboriginal languages

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Selected Aboriginal language indicators

Chart 11 Proportion of Aboriginal identity population by selected language indicators, Canada, 20111

Description for Chart 11

The ability to converse in an Aboriginal language was higher among Inuit

In the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), close to 241,000 Aboriginal people (approximately 1 in 6 Aboriginal people in Canada) responded that they were able to conduct a conversation in an Aboriginal language.

Nearly 2 out of 3 Inuit reported that they were able to conduct a conversation in an Aboriginal language, compared with 2 out of 10 First Nations people, and almost 3% of Métis.

More Aboriginal people reported that they were able to conduct a conversation in an Aboriginal language than reported an Aboriginal mother tongue. This implies that a number of Aboriginal people have acquired an Aboriginal language as a second language.

For additional information, see the 2011 NHS in Brief report: Aboriginal peoples and language.

Top 10 Aboriginal languages spoken by Aboriginal people

Chart 12 Aboriginal languages most frequently spoken by Aboriginal people, Canada, 2011

Description for Chart 12

The three most frequently reported Aboriginal languages by Aboriginal people are Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway

The languages spoken by the greatest number of Inuit were Inuit languages, primarily Inuktitut (36,050).

For First Nations people, 87,600 reported that they were able to conduct a conversation in a Cree language, followed by 23,880 who reported Ojibway and 11,135 who reported Innu/Montagnais.

The Aboriginal languages spoken by the greatest number of Métis were Cree (7,110), Dene (2,080) and Michif (940).

For additional information, see the 2011 NHS in Brief report: Aboriginal peoples and language and the 2011 NHS Aboriginal Population Profile.