Language is only one of many ways to differentiate groups. In
North America, it is speculated that there were over 300
different languages spoken at the time of contact. This does not
include the variations in dialect that are present within
languages. For example, Cree is a part of the Algonquian
language family. However, there are five dialects to the Cree
language that are reflective of different geographical areas.
Alberta contains three broad language umbrellas, the
Algonquian, the Athapaskan, and the Siouan language families.
These families can be further subdivided into Cree, Blackfoot,
Nakoda, and Dene. For the purposes of this section, we begin the
classification according to language and then transition to
socio-political organization and socio-economic organization.