Many Indigenous languages are disappearing due to colonialism, residential schools and backward government policies. As the years pass there are fewer and fewer fluent speakers left.

The Pacific Association of First Nations Women is facilitating a Cree and Ojibway Language Program. Several elders who are fluent in either language have volunteered to be teachers and pass down their knowledge. This program is open to Indigenous people who are of Cree or Ojibway decent. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Here is a CBC radio interview of one of our Cree language instructors, Elder Dorothy Visser, speaking about language revitalization and residential schools on Orange Shirt Day.

Press Release:

Unceded Squamish, Musqueum and Tsleil-Waututh Territory, Vancouver, BC (March 26, 2021)

The Pacific Association of First Nations Women is pleased to announce the 4th intake of our Online Basic Cree and Ojibway Language Classes. We are excited to begin another cohort of community, culture and connection with valuable members of our growing Cree and Ojibway language learning community.

Enrolment is open to applicants of Cree and Ojibway ancestry and is generously funded by the BC Language Initiative Program (BCLI) through the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. The program is 10 weeks in duration, beginning on Monday, April 12th, 2021 and finishing on Thursday June 17th, 2021. Class time is 6:00-8:00pm on Zoom. The classes are open to all genders and ages. Family groups are encouraged to attend.

We are pleased to announce that our four beloved teachers will be returning to teach with us: Deborah Littlejohn, Dorothy Eastman, Pauline Johnson and Dorothy Visser. Applications will close on April 5th at midnight.

Language Class Pages

Upcoming Events

There are several components in the Language Program:

  • The Introduction to Cree and Ojibway language course has completed five cycles
  • The ongoing Basic Cree and Ojibway course has completed three cycles, and a fourth began on April 12, 2021.
  • Cree and Ojibway Conversations Circles: New class information to come!
  • Cree and Ojibway Drop In Circles: New class information to come!

Comments from the Introduction Classes:

I really loved the connection the class created and the opportunity the class gave to hear stories, sing songs and learn the language.  I really appreciate that I can now introduce myself in my mother’s language.

I had a great time listening to everyone’s stories and all learning together.

We are grateful for the ongoing support from the First People’s Cultural Council