Indigenous languages

Pîjashig Kwe kwe! Tunngahugit! She:kon! Aanii! Boozhoo! Tansi! Taanishi! Hello! Bienvenue!

Access our Indigenous Film collection to find a number of Indigenous films (i.e., films made by and for Indigenous Peoples), some of which may be produced in Indigenous languages. 

Some of these films are "stand alone," i.e., in VHS or DVD format. Some are available through three streaming services: Criterion on demand, Kanopy and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

The NFB has a curated Indigenous language playlist of 16 films in honour of International year of indigenous languages.

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Here are some online sources that could be useful:

  1. CBC's Indigenous languages archives project: over 75,000 hours of traditional stories collected by CBC in 8 languages over 60 years:
  2. CBC North digitization project: The project will eventually see all of CBC North's archived Indigenous language programming digitized and made available online
  3. Original Voices – CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/original-voices/ highlights indigenous languages across Canada and what is being done to preserve and promote them.
  4. Hinterland Who’s who has 3 of their vignettes (freshwater turtle, wolvering, raven) in 6 indigenous languages, with plans to add more
  5. In the recent election, some of the debates were live-streamed in indigenous languages, e.g. East Cree  and Dene.  
  6. CBC’s Unreserved has a new weekly podcast series called First Words which introduces you to someone who speaks an indigenous language, they talk about how they learned it and teach some worlds in the language. First episode and link to subscribe.
  7. APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) has a number of shows in indigenous languages that can be watched for free online, some aimed at kids and other for adults e.g. Qanurli? Is an Inuktitut language comedy Full list of APTN shows (only some are in indigenous languages).
  8. Radio stations that have some broadcasting in indigenous languages: ELMNT FM radio “…Indigenous-variety format that offers its audience English and Indigenous-language spoken-word and musical programming…” There is a local Ottawa one: 95.7 FM The Spirit of Ottawa and 106.5 FM in Toronto
  9. Curio.ca (from CBC) has an Indigenous Language Revitalization collection which does include Mi’kmaw linguist Bernie Francis reading In Flanders Fields in Mi’kmaq
  10. YouTube user Omeasoo Wahpasiw has uploaded over 50 videos in Cree language, include many interviews with elders in Cree and on Youtube if you just start typing “Cree language” into the search box you will see many possibilities, e.g., Cree language radio.
  11. University of Regina Open Access Cree language text with audio and a number of beginner Indigenous language texts.

The Carleton University Library offers access to paper maps as well as electronic maps and other mapping resources. Maps in the library collection often focus a specific topic for a general geographic area rather than on a particular community and have limits:

  • They are usually created from a non-Indigenous perspective and often by government institutions.
  • They do not typically show traditional territories as defined by communities, including community names.

A good place to start looking for maps in the library collection is to contact our Cartographic and GIS team. You have two options for contacting the team:

  • One, email them at gis@carleton.ca and tell them about your project. They will be able to make recommendations and share sources, either electronic or print sources.
  • Two, when the library is open, you can stop by the Research Help Desk and ask to be put in contact with a member of the team.

Print copies of maps of local communities are not readily available. However, we do have resources, for example atlases such as the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, that could be good starting points. In addition, the library does have language maps which you can access by contacting the Cartographic and GIS team.

Content last reviewed: October 16, 2019