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Native Languages of the Americas: Amerindian Language Families

Hello, and welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a small non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting American Indian languages, especially through the use of Internet technology. Our website is not beautiful. Probably, it never will be. But this site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the people that speak them.



Native Languages of the Americas Online Resources

Click here for an alphabetical master list of Amerindian languages.
Click here for a list of Amerindian language families showing the linguistic relationships between Amerind languages.
Click here for a list of vocabulary words in various Amerindian languages.
Click here for a list of indigenous American peoples featured on our site.
Click here for a geographical index of Amerindian tribes grouped by continent, country, and state or province.
Click here for a map of Amerindian culture areas of the Western Hemisphere.
Click here for a list of American Indian books and other resources by and about Native Americans.
Click here for our online collection of American Indian myths and legends.
Click here for our American Indians Facts for Kids.
Click here for links to general Amerindian language resources.


NOTE: We are not responsible for the content of the external sites we link to. Some of them are more useful than others. We have tried to provide the most complete directory of Amerindian language materials available online. If you have found a dead link, an error in need of correction, or a great new Amerindian site we should add to our index, here is our contact page, also with answers to frequently asked questions. If you are looking for Orrin's homepage, we moved it to its own location to give more prominence to the Amerindian language pages.

Why aren't there any links about Amerindian languages being related to Ancient Egyptian or the island of Atlantis? See our new page explaining the truth behind some of the incorrect "theories" floating around the web about Amerind languages, cultures, and history.

Feel free to link to this site or to any of the pages in it. Also, you have our permission to use this information in any way you would like to. Our goal is to make it easier to learn about, preserve, and revive Amerindian languages by using the Internet. This is a public service on our part. All our information about Amerindians and Amerindian language families was written by Orrin Lewis, Laura Redish, or our friend Nancy Sherman, who has kindly agreed to let us use them. We will make every possible effort to honor any requests from Indian tribes and nations, and we will listen carefully to requests from other people as well.

Thank you for your interest in American Indian languages.

Laura Redish, Director
Orrin Lewis, Tribal Coordinator

Amerindian Language Families

Actually, Amerindian languages do not belong to a single language family, but 25-30 small ones; they are usually discussed together because of the small numbers of native speakers of the Amerindian language families and how little is known about many of them. There are around 25 million native speakers of the more than 800 surviving Amerind languages. The vast majority of these speakers live in Central and South America, where language use is vigorous. In Canada and the United States, only about half a million native speakers of an Amerindian tongue remain.

Click on a language family to see a linguistic tree of that family and links about the group. Click on a language name to see a description and links about that language, as well as information about the Native American people who speak it.

Algic Amerindian Language Family
Abnaki-Penobscot, Algonquin, Arapaho, Atikamek, Blackfoot (Siksika, Blackfeet), Cheyenne, Cree, Etchemin, Gros Ventre (Atsina), Kickapoo, Lenape (Delaware), Loup A/Loup B, Lumbee (Pamlico, Croatan), Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, Menominee, Mesquakie-Sauk (Sac and Fox), Miami-Illinois, Michif (Metis), Mi'kmaq (Micmac), Mohegan/Pequot, Mohican/Mahican, Montagnais Innu, Munsee, Nanticoke, Narragansett, Naskapi Innu, Ojibwe (Chippewa, Anishinaabemowin), Potawatomi, Powhatan, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Wiyot, Yurok; possibly Beothuk (Red Indian)

Arawakan Amerindian Language Family
Arawak, Ashaninka, Garifuna, Taino

Athapaskan Amerindian Language Family
Ahtna, Apache, Beaver, Carrier, Chilcotin, Chipewyan-Dene, Gwichin, Haida, Hupa, Kaska, Navajo-Dine, Slavey, Tlingit

Caddoan Amerindian Language Family
Arikara, Caddo, Pawnee

Cariban Amerindian Language Family
Carib, Makusi

Chibchan Amerindian Language Family
Bribri, Kuna, Guaymi, Damana, Chibcha, Bari

Eskimo-Aleut Language Family
Aleut, Inuktitut, Yupik

Hokan Amerindian Language Family
Chimariko, Chumash, Havasupai, Karuk, Kashaya, Mohave, Pomo, Quechan

Iroquoian Amerindian Language Family
Cayuga, Cherokee (Tsalagi), Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Susquehannock, Tuscarora, Wyandot

Kiowa-Tanoan Amerindian Language Family
Kiowa, Tewa, Tiwa, Towa

Macro-Ge Amerindian Language Family
Apinage, Bororo, Xavante

Mayan Amerindian Language Family
Ch'ol, Chontal, Itza, Kaqchikel, Yucatec Mayan

Muskogean Amerindian Language Family
Alabama, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Coushatta, Miccosukee, Muscogee

Oto-Manguean Amerindian Language Family
Matlatzinca, Mixtec, Zapotec

Panoan Amerindian Language Family
Amahuaca, Atsahuaca, Cashibo, Chacobo, Isconahua, Marubo, Matis, Matses, Poyanawa, Sharanahua, Shipibo

Penutian Amerindian Language Family
Alsea, Cathlamet, Chinook, Chinook Jargon, Coos, Klamath, Maidu, Miwok, Nez Perce, Nisgaa-Gitxsan, Ohlone, Tsimshian, Wintu, Yakama, Yokuts

Salishan Amerindian Language Family
Bella Coola, Chehalis, Coeur d'Alene, Cowichan, Cowlitz, Flathead Salish, Lillooet, Quinault, Saanich, Squamish, Snohomish

Siouan Amerindian Language Family
Assiniboine, Biloxi, Catawba, Crow, Dakota-Lakota, Hidatsa, Hochunk, Kansa, Mandan, Osage, Ponca-Omaha, Otoe, Quapaw

Tucanoan Amerindian Language Family
Orejon, Secoya

Tupi-Guarani Language Family
Guarani, Xipaya

Uto-Aztecan Amerindian Language Family
Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Cocopah, Comanche, Diegueno, Hopi, Huichol, Juaneno, Luiseno, Nahuatl, Paiute, Papago-Pima, Shoshone, Tarahumara, Tongva, Ute, Yaqui

Wakashan Amerindian Language Family
Bella Bella, Haisla, Kwakiutl, Makah, Nootka

Other Native North American Languages
Atakapa, Cayuse, Chitimacha, Keres, Kootenay, Natchez, Timucua, Tonkawa, Tunica, Yuchi, Zuni

Other Native Central American Languages
Cofan, Huave, Popoluca, Purepecha, Tepehua, Totonaca

Other Native South American Language Families
Alacalufan, Arauan, Arutani-Sape, Aymara, Barbacoan, Bora, Cahuapanan, Chapacuran, Choco, Chon, Guahiban, Harakmbut, Katukinan, Jirajaran, Jivaroan, Lule-Vilelan, Maku, Mascoian, Matacan, Muran, Nambikwaran, Quechua, Salivan, Tsachila, Uru-Chipaya, Waikuruan, Witotan, Yaguan, Yanomaman, Zamucan, Zaparoan

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