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About Atikamekw

Atikamekw is one of the Algonquian languages of Canada, in the same family as Cree, Algonquin, and Naskapi, and is most closely related to the Cree languages. It is spoken in central Quebec in the communities of Wemotaci, Manawan, and Opitciwan. It is written in Roman script, rather than syllabics. Atikamekw is spoken as the first language of all Atikamekw people living in their communities. It is the most vigorously used aboriginal language in Canada, with the average age of speakers being 21.5 years. It is used as the language of instruction in the early years of schooling. Although French is often spoken as a second language, Atikamekw remains the language of the heart.

About This Translation

The New Testament translation was started under the auspices of the Summer Institute of Linguistics in the 1970s. SIL staff worked in close partnership with members of the Atikamekw First Nation at Wemotaci and with the Roman Catholic Church. The Canadian Bible Society provided consultant and publishing support to this project.  There were many difficulties and delays in completing this project, but finally the New Testament was completed and published by CBS in 2014.

There is the possibility of an adaptation being done into the Opitciwan dialect.