A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Mi’gmaq, Miigmao, Mi’kmaq, Restigouche

8,040 in Canada (2011 census), decreasing. Population total all countries: 8,270. 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,200 (1998 SIL). 1,500 are in mainland Nova Scotia, 4,000 on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, 800 on Prince Edward Island and Lennox Island, 4,550 on the east coast of New Brunswick, 3,150 on the Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, 200 in Newfoundland.


Central and north Nova Scotia, villages Afton, Pictou, Truro, Shubenagadie, Bear River, and Yarmouth, on Cape Breton Island: Memberto, Eskasoni, Chapel Island, Wakmatkug, and Waikoqomaq; Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick east coast: Fort Folly, Big Cove, Indian Island, Burnt Church, Eel Ground, Red Bank, Pabino Falls, and Eel River Bar; Quebec, east Gaspe Peninsula, villages: Gespe’q, Gesgapeqiaq, Listuguj; 1 settlement, interior, Island of Newfoundland, south of Millertown, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Northern Micmac, Southern Micmac. Generally dialects are intelligible, but there are lexical, inflectional, word order, and spelling differences.

Language Use

In some communities, only older adults. Virtually extinct in 5 communities, 4 of which are in English-speaking areas (Shubenagadie, Truro, Eel River Bar, Pabineo Falls) and the 5th in French-speaking Gaspé, Quebec. In larger areas children tend to begin speaking some Micmac, except in Listuguj, where some families educate children in French. In communities such as Gesgapegiaq, use is more vigorous. Each community has a committee or group whose task is to help enhance the language and culture. Prayers, songs, readings. Mainly adults. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], French [fra].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–17%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. 800 or more readers of Micmac, 200 write it. Oral and written courses exist in most schools in the primary grades. New media. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1874–1998.

Latin script [Latn]. Micmac Hieroglyphs (Kauder ideograms) script [Qabg], no longer in use.

Other Comments

Christian (Roman Catholic), traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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