Discovering Community Connections by The Oji-Cree and Ojibwe Languages

Discovering Community Connections by The Oji-Cree And Ojibwe Languages

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Severn Ojibwa Sub-Dialects

A number of core Severn speaking communities have been identified. Dialect research in the 1970s suggested a relatively shallow set of differences that distinguish a core Big Trout Lake subgroup (itself further divided into two minor subgroups), and a Deer Lake area subgroup.

“Nichols 1976 determined that there exist two minor subdialects of Severn Ojibwe, one designated the Big Trout Lake area and the other the Deer Lake area. The Big Trout Lake area is divided into two subgroups, Western, composed of communities situated in the Severn River system, and Eastern, made up mostly of communities in the drainage area of the Winisk River.”

(A) Big Trout Area

(i) Western Big Trout (Severn River System)

Bearskin Lake

Big Trout Lake

Muskrat Dam

Sachigo Lake

(ii) Eastern Big Trout (Winisk River System)

Angling Lake


Kingfisher Lake


Wunnumin Lake

(B) Deer Lake Area

Deer Lake

North Spirit Lake

Sandy Lake

The Keewaywin community is a group that recently broke off from the main Sandy Lake community; their dialect is the same as Sandy Lake.

A number of communities around the periphery of the core Severn Ojibwa area share some Severn features, but also share features of other dialects and have been described as transitional communities. These include Round Lake, Lansdowne House, Ogoki Post, Fort Hope, and Summer Beaver.

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