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Siouan Languages

The Siouan languages are a subfamily of North American Indigenous languages. The Siouan languages are spoken in Canada and the United States, in a geographical area stretching from the southern Prairies and along the Mississippi River down to the northern coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. Siouan languages are most commonly spoken in the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Sasketchewan and Manitoba, as well as parts of the Mid-Western United States (1).

The Siouan language family is comprised of endangered or highly endangered languages with low rates of fluent speakers. In Canada, a total of 2,965 people reported speaking a language belonging to the Siouan language family in 2021. Further, only about 1,040 people in Canada speak a Siouan language as their mother tongue. Assiniboine, Dakota, and Stoney are the most spoken languages within the Siouan language family in Canada (2). 

Photo: Pre-contact distribution of the Siouan–Catawban languages (3).