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Our Speaker

Terry Ireland

Terry Ireland

Terry Ireland is a Métis elder from Moosomin, Saskatchewan, who retains a deep knowledge of the Michif language.


Born in 1943 to Joseph and Emma Blondeau, in Ste. Marthe, Saskatchewan, she is the youngest of eleven children and born into the language. Terry began learning English when she started school at the age of five or six. Terry is a proud mother of seven children, eighteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. 


Terry has participated in interviews for the protection, revitalization as well as documentation of the Michif language in Southern Saskatchewan. She continues speaking and sharing her language to her family, relatives and community. 


"I hope the language continues on. It's good for the younger generations to learn their language... that is their roots."

--Terry Ireland


Our Team

Carmen Leeming

Carmen is a Michif (Métis) with family roots from Portage la Prairie, St. Francis Xavier, Whitewood, and Moose Jaw. Her family names are Sinclair, Swain, and Gibeau. She has a Master of Applied Science in Management of Technology from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from the University of Victoria. Carmen volunteers her time to create language resources to support Southern Michif learners. She is currently pursuing a Teaching Indigenous Languages for Vitality certificate from the University of Winnipeg so she can create effective resources for future instructors of Southern Michif using evidence-based methods.



Marlee Paterson

Marlee is from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and is a Michif (Métis) on her mother’s side and English/Scottish settler on her father’s side. Her ancestors lived in Portage la Prairie, Poplar Point and Dog Lake. Her family names are Inkster, Sandison and Dyer. She has completed a Certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalization and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba. Marlee actively volunteers and shares Michif in her community, including an Aboriginal Head Start Métis-specific daycare.


Heather Souter

Heather Souter is a Michif (Métis) living in Camperville, Manitoba. She is an ancestral language learner and instructor of Michif with a professional background in language teaching, interpretation and translation. She holds a Master of Education in Indigenous Language Revitalization from the University of Victoria and also has training in linguistics and anthropology at the graduate level. A long‑time Michif language activist and language revitalization practitioner, Heather, alongside directors Verna Demontigny and Elvis Demontigny, presently leads the Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle (P2W / P2WILRC) and also runs Wiichihitotaak ILR. She has taught Michif language at the University of Manitoba for five years and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Winnipeg, teaching language revitalization, linguistics, and Southern Michif.


Southern Michif

Michif is a traditional language of the Métis. Several different varieties of Michif are spoken by Métis people, including: Southern Michif, Northern Michif, and Michif French. Our resources focus on Southern Michif, which is spoken primarily in southwestern Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan, and northern North Dakota and Montana.


It is important to note that certain words can have different pronunciations in Michif, depending on where the speaker is from. We take the view that all ways of speaking Michif are equally valid, and we do not promote one variety over another. We are grateful to have Knowledge Holder Terry Ireland  model the words and sentences in our resources, and we recognize that other speakers may have other pronunciations and variations to share as well.

Our resources use a double-vowel spelling system, inspired by the work of the late Rita Flamand of Camperville Manitoba, the late Ida Rose Allard of the Turtle Mountain Reservation of North Dakota, and as used in the Southern Michif Online Course.



We would like to thank the many people who have contributed to creating these resources.


Thank you to Connie Henry for volunteering many hours for audio editing.


Thank you to Mira Kolodka and Kai Pyle for audio recording work.

Thank you to Terry Ireland's family, without whom the recordings could not have happened. In particular, thank you to Ruth Ireland Desjarlais, Kerri-Ann Ireland, and Lionel Ireland.


In loving memory of Karen Ireland, Eldon Ireland, and Joseph and Emma Blondeau.

Kischi marsii to our language learning community members for their enthusiasm and encouragement in supporting our development of these resources, especially our dear friend Dr. Bruce Handley.

A special thank you to our families for their ongoing love, support, and understanding.

We would like to thank Carmen Leeming for the images of her beautiful flower beadwork used on this site.

We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada.


We wish to highlight that much of this work has been done on the territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ nations, those of Treaty 2 First Nations, and the homelands of the Métis.


Our License

Southern Michif for Learners by Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike 4.0 International Licence.

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We want you to use and share these resources. You have permission to copy them and pass them around, but you are not permitted to use this material for ANY commercial purposes. If you wish to build upon, remix or transform this resource, you must credit the original source, including a link to, and indicate that it is has been adapted.

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