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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
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Language Groups

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.


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