First Peoples > Welcome > Languages
Today, there are 53 different Aboriginal languages, belonging to 11 different language families.
A language family is a group of languages that are historically related and have some words and structure in common. Kwak'wala, for example, belongs to the Wakashan language family, while Dogrib belongs to the Athapaskan language family.
A dialect is a regional version of a language that may have some distinctive words, expressions or sounds, but can be understood by other speakers of that language, even if they are from different regions.
Algonquian is the largest Aboriginal language family in Canada, and the most widespread. Algonquian languages are spoken on the Plains, in Manitoba and Ontario, in Quebec and on the Atlantic Coast.
British Columbia is the area of greatest linguistic diversity, with several language families represented.
The Aboriginal language most widely spoken in Canada is Cree.