Míkmaq is an Algonquian language with about 8,000 speakers in Canada and the USA, mainly in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but also in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Maine. The Míkmaq called themselves L'nu'k (the people) and their language L'nui'sin. The word Míkmaq comes from their word nikmaq, meaning "my kin-friends." The language is also known as Micmac, Mi'gmaq, Miigmao or Restigouche.
Míkmaq was originally written with a 'hieroglyphic' system. In 1691 a French missionary named Fater La Clerq noticed Míkmaq children using the system as a memory aid and adapted it to write scriptures. In 1894 a method of writing Míkmaq with Latin alphabet was devised by Silas T. Rand, who used it to translate religious works, a number of other material and a grammar. A new spelling systems have been devised since then.
Msit mimajulnu'k weskwijinu'ltijik alsumsultijik aqq newte' tett wkpimte'tmut
aqq koqwajo'taqnn wejkul'aqmititl.
(Article 1, Wtui'katikn wjit Koqwajo'taqann Mimajuinu'k Wejkuaqmi'tij)
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Examples of the various written forms of Míkmaq
Míkmaq Pronunciation and Spelling Guide
Míkmaq Resource Centre
Online Míkmaq lessons