British Columbia is home to 203 First Nations communities, and an amazing diversity of Indigenous languages: approximately 60% of the First Nations languages of Canada are spoken in BC.

The purpose of this map is to present BC's Indigenous languages from a First Nations perspective, rather than that of outsider researchers. The language names on the map use each language's own spelling system, and were gathered from language revitalization projects funded by the First Peoples' Heritage, Language, and Culture Council, and from the FirstVoices online language archive. The language areas shown are not intended to represent an authoritative depiction of First Nations' territories or treaties.

Related languages are represented on the map in shades of the same colour. The colours blend into one another to reflect that there are no strict boundaries between neighbouring languages. Languages within each language family have similar structures and basic vocabulary, although a fluent speaker of one language may not be able to understand another language in the family. Neighbouring languages may be closely connected through marriage ties, shared stories, beliefs, customs, and traditions.

The BC languages shown on this map are Indigenous to our province. The map also includes Malchosen, ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ (Nēhiyawēwin), and Anishnaubemowin, whose speakers moved into BC relatively recently.

Read more about the History and Geography of BC First Nations Languages.

Read more about the Sleeping Languages of British Columbia.

Link to Project Sponsors


For more information on BC First Nations languages, please see the First Peoples Heritage, Language, and Culture Council website or visit www.FirstVoices.com.