Cree, Plains


A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Western Cree

34,000 in Canada (1982 SIL). Population total all countries: 34,100. Ethnic population: 53,000.


North central Manitoba, scattered west across Saskatchewan and central Alberta to the foot of the Rocky Mountains; isolated enclave in British Columbia.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Statutory language of provincial identity in NWT (1988, NWT Official Languages Act, Chapter 56 (Supplemented), Section 4), restricted official use.


Northern Alberta Cree, Plains Cree, Western York Cree. Nonpalatalized y-dialect within Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi language complex or dialect subgroup. A member of macrolanguage Cree [cre].

Language Use

Vigorous in many communities mainly in the north. All ages. Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Blackfoot [bla].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1861–1908.

Latin script [Latn]. Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics script [Cans], uses western finals, dot after.

Also spoken in:

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