Naskapi

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A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Innu Aimun, Iyuw Imuun, Naaskaapii iyuw iyimuuun, Naskapi Innu
Autonym
Naskapi, ᐃᔪᐤ ᐃᔨᒧᐅᓐ‎ (Iyuw Iyimuuun), ᓇᔅᑲᐱ‎ (Naskapi)
Population

1,210 (2016 census). Ethnic population: 1,300 (2017 N. Jancewicz). 900 Western Naskapi, 400 Eastern Naskapi.

Location

Newfoundland and Labrador provinces: Natuashish on the mainland, an isolated community in Labrador (Eastern Naskapi dialect); Quebec province: Kawawachikamach about 10 km northeast of Schefferville at watershed (Western Naskapi dialect).

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational). Language of recognized indigenous peoples: Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach.

Dialects

Western Naskapi (Kawawachikamach), Eastern Naskapi (Mushua Innu, Natuashish).

Language Use

Vigorous in both dialects. Slowly shifting to English [eng]. All ages. Also use English [eng], French [fra], Montagnais [moe].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Western Naskapi: 50%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%. Ongoing community language program in Western Naskapi. All children through in kindergarten through grade 6 can read and write in the language (2017 N. Jancewicz). Taught in primary schools in Western Naskapi. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2007.
Writing

Latin script [Latn]. Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics script [Cans], used by Western Naskapi.

Other Comments

Naskapi culture was nomadic and completely dependent on the migratory habits of caribou. Caribou hunting and land use still seen as important. Innu Aimun refers to both Eastern Naskapi dialect and Montagnais [moe] but not Western Naskapi. Some linguists have referred to dialect spoken at Natuashish as Eastern Naskapi but currently refer to it as Innu Aimun or Mushuau Innu Aimun.

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