Tribes by Language

 
At the time of Columbus’ arrival, America had a population of 75,000,000 people that spoke 2,000 languages in North, Central, and South America. In the world today, approximately 6,000 languages are spoken, and only about 600 languages are expected to survive this century. There are more than 800 indigenous languages in the Western Hemisphere. In the US, 165 native american languages are still spoken.
Seventy-four native american languages are almost extinct, with only a handful of elderly speakers. Fifty-eight indigenous languages have fewer than 1,000 fluent speakers, twenty-five have 1,000-10,000 speakers, and only 8 native american languages have more than 10,000 speakers.
Language scholars estimate that before the time of Columbus, over 300 languages were spoken in North America north of Mexico. Since then, that number has dropped to about 175 indigenous languages. One estimate predicts that number will dwindle to less than 20 by the year 2050. When our children were sent to government boarding schools, they were severely punished for speaking our native languages, and over time many of them were nearly forgotten. Many indigenous languages of the Americas are endangered, and many others are extinct, with no living native speakers. We believe that languages have a spirit all their own.It is our vision for the future to once again hear whole generations of native people fluently speaking thier native languages. For as long as one person speaks a language, that language’s people and traditions and history will survive and thrive.
The classification below is a composite of Goddard (1996), Campbell (1997), and Mithun (1999).
Native American Languages in the United States

Adai †
Algic

Algonquian(42)

Carolina Algonquian (United States) (also known as Pamlico, Pamtico, Pampticough, Christianna Algonquian) †
Central Algonquian(23)

Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi (9)

Atikamekw (Canada)
Moose Cree (Canada)
Northern East Cree (Canada)
Plains Cree (Canada)
Southern East Cree (Canada)
Swampy Cree (Canada)
Woods Cree (Canada)
Montagnais (Canada)
Naskapi (Canada)

Ojibwa (8)

Algonquin (Canada)
Chippewa (United States)
Central Ojibwa (Canada)
Eastern Ojibwa(Canada)
Northwestern Ojibwa (Canada)
Severn Ojibwa (Canada)
Western Ojibwa (Canada)
Ottawa (Canada)

Kickapoo (United States)
Menominee (United States)
Meskwaki (United States)
Miami (United States) (aka Illinois and Illinois-Miami) (Officially extinct but a revitalization program is in progress since an extensive dictionary exists)
Potawatomi (United States)
Shawnee (United States)

Eastern Algonquian(10)

Delaware
Munsee
Unami (also known as Lenape) †

Northern Unami
Southern Unami
Unalachtigo

Eastern Abnaki,(United States)(also known as Abenaki or Abenaki-Penobscot)

Penobscot (also known as Old Town or Old Town Penobscot)
Caniba
Aroosagunticook
Pigwacket

Etchemin (uncertain) †
Loup A (probably Nipmuck) (uncertain) †
Loup B (Uncertain) †
Western Abnaki (Canada) (also known as Abnaki, St. Francis, Abenaki, or Abenaki-Penobscot)
Malecite-Passamaquoddy (Canada) (also known as Maliseet-Passamquoddy)

Maliseet (also known as Malecite)
Passamaquoddy

Massachusett (United States) †

North Shore (United States)
Natick (United States)
Wampanoag (United States)
Nauset (United States)
Cowesit (United States)

Micmac (Canada and United States) (also known as Mic Mac, Mi’kmaq, Mi’gmaq, or Mi’kmaw)
Mohegan-Montauk-Narragansett (United States) (aka Mohegan-Pequot-Montauk)

Mohegan †
Montauk
Narragansett †
Niantic
Pequot †
Shinnecock (uncertain) †

Munsee (Canada)
Nanticoke (United States)

Nanticoke †
Piscataway (also known as Conoy)
Choptank

Powhatan (United States) (also known as Virginia Algonquian) †
Quiripi-Naugatuck-Unquachog

Quiripi (also known as Quinnipiak or Connecticut) †
Naugatuck †
Unquachog †

Plains Algonquian (5)

Arapaho (3)

Arapaho (Heenetiit) (United States)
Gros Ventre (United States)
Nawathinehena (United States)

Blackfoot (Canada) and Blackfeet (United States)
Cheyenne (United States)

Mahican (also known as Mohican) (Extinct)

Moravian
Stockbridge

Piscataway (United States)
Unclassified (1)

Lumbee (United States)

Wiyot(1)

Wiyot (United States) †

Yurok(1)

Yurok (United States)

Alsean (2) †
Atakapa †
Beothuk †
Caddoan (Macro-Siouan?)(5)

Northern Caddoan (4)

Pawnee-Kitsai (3)

Kitsai (1) (a.k.a. Kichai)

Kitsai (USA)

Pawnee (2)

Arikara (USA) (a.k.a. Ree)
Pawnee (USA) (dialects: South Bend, Skiri (a.k.a. Skidi or Wolf Band))

Wichita (1)

Wichita (USA) (dialects: Wichita proper, Waco, Towakoni)

Southern Caddoan (1)

Caddo (USA) (dialects: Kadohadacho, Hasinai, Natchitoches, Yatasi)

Cayuse †
Chimakuan (2)

Chimakum (USA)
Quileute (USA)

Chimariko †
Chinookan (3)

Kathlamet (a.k.a. Katlamat, Cathlamet)
Lower Chinook (a.k.a. Coastal Chinook)

Clatsop (USA)
Shoalwater (a.k.a. Chinook proper) (USA)

Upper Chinook (a.k.a. Kiksht, Columbia Chinook)

Cascades (USA)
Clackamas (USA)
Hood River (USA)
Multnomah (USA)
Wasco-Wishram (2)

Wasco (USA)
Wishram (USA)

White Salmon (USA)

Chitimacha †
Chumashan (7)

Barbareño (USA)
Chumash (USA) †
Cruzeño (USA)
Ineseño (USA)
Obispeño (USA)
Purisimeño (USA)
Ventureño (USA)

Coahuilteco †
Comecrudan (United States & Mexico) (3) †

Comecrudo (a.k.a. Mulato or Carrizo)
Garza
Mamulique (a.k.a. Carrizo de Mamulique)

Coosan (2) † (This language has been moved to Penutian.)

Hanis
Miluk (also known as Lower Coquille)

Creole Language Family
Cotoname †
Eskimo–Aleut (7) (also called Eskaleut)

Aleut

Western-Central

Atkan
Attuan
Unangan
Bering

Eastern

Unalaskan
Pribilof

Eskimo(Yupik-Inuit languages)

Yupik (or Yup’ik)

Central Alaskan Yup’ik

Yugtun Alutiiq (Pacific Gulf Yup’ik)
Central Siberian Yupik (Yuit or Chaplinon and St. Lawrence Island)
Naukan
Qawiaraq(Seward Peninsula)
Chaplinski Sirenik † (viewed as an independent branch by some)

Inuit

Inupiaq or Inupiat (northern Alaska)
Inuvialuktun (western Canada)
Kangiryuarmiutun (Ulukhaktok sometimes listed as Inuinnaqtun)
Siglitun (Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk)
Uummarmiutun (Aklavik, Inuvik from Inupiaq)
Inuktitut (eastern Canada)
Nunatsiavummiutut (Nunatsiavut)
Inuttitut (Nunavik)
Kalaallisut (Greenland)
Inuktun (Avanersuarmiutut)East Greenlandic (Tunumiit oraasiat)

Hokan (23)

Esselen-Yuman (10)

Esselen † (1)

Esselen (United States)

Yuman (9)

Cochimi (1)

Cochimi (Mexico)

Delta-Californian (2)

Cocopa (Mexico)
Kumiai (Mexico)

Kiliwa (1)

Kiliwa (Mexico)

Pai (1)

Paipai (Mexico)

River Yuman (3)

Maricopa (United States)
Mohave (United States)
Quechan (United States)

Upland Yuman (1)

Havasupai-Walapai-Yavapai (United States)

Northern (12)

Karok-Shasta (4)

Shasta-Palaihnihan (3)

Palaihnihan (2)
Shastan (1)

Karok

Pomo (7)

Russian River and Eastern (6)

Eastern (1)
Russian River (5)

Southeastern (1)

Southeastern Pomo (United States)

Chimariko (United States)

Washo (1)

Washo (United States)

Iroquoian (11)

Northern Iroquoian

Lakes Iroquoian

Five Nations and Susquehannock

Seneca-Onondaga

Seneca-Cayuga

Seneca
Cayuga

Onodaga

Mohawk-Oneida

Oneida
Mohawk

Susquehannock †

Huronian

Wyandot (Huron-Petun)†
Neutral †
Erie †

Tuscarora-Nottoway

Tuscarora (seriously endangered)
Nottoway †

Southern Iroquoian

Cherokee

Kalapuyan (3) †
Karankawa †
Karuk
Keresan (2)

Eastern Keres
Western Keres

Kutenai
Maiduan (4)
Muskogean (9)

Western Muskogean

Chickasaw
Choctaw

Central Muskogean

Alabama (alternate name: Alibamu
Apalachee †
Hitchiti-Mikisaki
Koasati (alternate name: Coushatta)

Eastern Muskogean

Creek (alternate names: Muskogee, Maskoke, Seminole)

Na-Dene (47)

Haida (2)

Northern Haida (Canada)
Sothern Haida (Canada)

Nuclear Na-Dene (45)

Athapaskan-Eyak (44)

Athapaskan (43)

Apachean (6)

Kiowa Apache (1)

Apache, Kiowa [apk] (United States)

Navajo-Apache (5)

Eastern Apache (3)

Apache, Jicarilla (United States)
Apache, Lipan (United States)
Apache, Mescalero-Chiricahua (United States)

Western Apache-Navajo (2)

Apache, Western (United States)
Navajo (United States)

Canadian (13)

Beaver-Sekani (2)

Beaver(Canada)
Sekani (Canada)

Carrier-Chilcotin (4)

Babine-Carrier (3)

Babine (Canada)
Carrier

Southern Carrier(Canada)

Chilcotin (1)
Han-Kutchin (2)

Gwich’in(Canada)
Han (USA)

Hare-Chipewyan (4)
Sarcee (1)

Ingalik-Koyukon (3)

Ingalik (1)
Koyukon-Holikachuk (2)

Pacific Coast (9)

California (4)
Oregon (5)

Tahltan-Kaska (3)

Kaska (Canada)
Tahltan(Canada)
Tagish(Canada)

Tanaina-Ahtna (2)

Ahtena (USA)
Tanaina(USA)

Tanana-Upper Kuskokwim (4)

Tanana (3)
Upper Kuskokwim (1)

Tutchone (2)

Southern Tutchone(Canada)
Northern Tutchone(Canada)

Tstsaut(Canada)

Eyak (1)
Eyak(USA)
Tlingit (1)

Tlingit (USA)

Natchez †
Palaihnihan (2)
Plateau Penutian (4) (also known as Shahapwailutan)
Pomoan (7)
Salinan †
Salishan (23)
Shastan (4) †
Siouan–Catawban (19)
Siuslaw †
Solano †
Takelma †
Tanoan (7)

Tanoan-Kiowa

Timucua †
Tonkawa †
Tsimshianic (2)
Tunica †
Utian (15) (also known as Miwok–Costanoan)
Uto-Aztecan (33)
Wakashan (7)
Wappo †
Washo
Wintuan (4)
Yana †
Yokutsan (3)
Yuchi
Yuki †
Yuman (11)
Zuni

= Extinct languages
Unclassified Languages:
Campbell et al. (2007) list the following extinct and nearly unattested language varieties of North America as unclassifiable due to lack of data.

Eyeish
Coree
Sewee
Cusabo
Shoccoree-Eno (see Eno people)
Pascagoula
Quinipissa
Opelousa
Pedee
Bayogoula
Okelousa
Congaree
Winyaw (see Winyaw)
Santee (see Santee tribe. distinguish Santee Sioux)
Okchai-Chacato (see Okchai, Chatot people)
Tequesta
Guale
Sanan
Yamasee
Akokisa
Avoyel
Tocobaga (see Tocobaga)
Houma
Neusiok (see Neusiok people)
Ubate
Cape Fear
Pensacola (see Pensacola people)
Bidai
Wateree (see Wateree people)
Mobile
Michigamea
Pakana
Saxapahaw
Keyauwee
Guachichil *
Suma-Jumano * (see Suma & Jumanos)
Huite *
Concho *
Jova *
Acaxee * (see Acaxee)
Xixime (Jijime) *
Zacatec * (see Zacatecos; perhaps the same as Acaxee)
Tahue *
Guasave *
Toboso * (see Tobosos)

* Ethnographic evidences suggests these varieties might have been Uto-Aztecan
 

August 14, 2017

The Kamia Indians belonged to the Yuman stock of Powell now considered a subdivision of the Hokan family, their closest affinities being with the eastern Diegueno who were sometimes considered one tribe with themselves. Today, they prefer to be called Kumeyaay.

Hokan language family

Modoc Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

The Modoc Indian territory extended into the northern part of California. With the Klamath, the Modoc constituted the Lutuamian division of the Shapwailutan linguistic stock of the Penutian language family.

Penutian language family

Yurok Indians

2 Views
August 14, 2017

Yurok is an Algonquian language. The Yurok Tribe is California’s largest Indian Tribe with nearly 5,000 enrolled members. The Yurok Indians are also known historically as the Pohlik-la, Ner-er-er, Petch-ik-lah and Klamath River Indians.

Algonquian Languages
August 14, 2017

Diegueno is a member language of the Yuman division of the Hokan language family. Tipai-Ipai is the common name since the 1950s of two linguistically related groups formerly known as Kamia (Kumeyaay) and Diegueno. Today, they once again prefer the term Kumeyaay.

Hokan language family

Patwin Indians

2 Views
August 14, 2017

The Patwin formed the southernmost and most diverse dialetic division of the former Wintun (or Copehan) linguistic family, now considered part of the Penutian stock.

Penutian language family

Shasta Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

The Shasta Indians were one of four Shastan tribes, the other three being Konomihu, Okwanuchu, and New River Shasta. The Shasta Indians constituted part of the Shastan division of the Hokan linguistic stock.

Hokan language family

Wintu Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

The Wintu Indians were the northernmost division of the Copehan stock of Powell, later called Wintun by Kroeber (1932) and now regarded as part of the Penutian family.

Penutian language family

Vanyume Indians

2 Views
August 14, 2017

The Vanyume Indians belonged to the Shoshonean Division of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock. Their closest connections being probably with the Kitanemuk, and secondly with the Serrano.

Uto-Aztecan Language Family
August 14, 2017

With the Achomawi, the Atsugewi constituted the Palaihnihan or eastern group of the Shastan stock, more recently placed by Dixon and Kroeber (1919) in the Hokan family.

Hokan language family

Tolowa Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

The Tolowa Indians constituted one of the divisions into which the California peoples of the Athapascan linguistic stock are divided, but they were closely connected with the Athapascan tribes of Oregon immediately to the north.

Athabaskan (Dene') Language
August 14, 2017

The Halchidhoma belonged to the Yuman branch of the Hokan linguistic stock and are said to have spoken the same language as the Yuma tribe and to have been closely connected also with the Maricopa.

Hokan language family

Yuma Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

The Yuma were one of the chief tribes of the old Yuman linguistic stock, to which they have given their name, but their closest immediate relatives were the Maricopa and Halchidhoma. The Yuman stock is now considered a part of the larger Hokan family.

Hokan language family

Esselen Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

Originally given the status of a distinct stock, the Esselen are now placed in the Hokan linguistic family, their affinities being rather with the Yuman division, to the south, and with the Porno, Yana, and other groups to the north than with their closer neighbors of this stock, the Salinan and Chumash tribes.

Hokan language family

Yana Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

In the early nineteenth century, the Yana lived in the upper Sacramento River Valley and the adjacent eastern foothills. The elevation of their territory ranged between 300 and 10,000 feet. The Yana Indians were originally considered an independent linguistic stock but are now placed in the larger Hokan family. Its four divisions were Northern, Central, Southern, and Yahi.

Hokan language family

Wintun Indians

2 Views
August 14, 2017

The Wintun were formerly considered a part of Powell’s Copehan stock and the Wintun of Kroeber (1932) but are now placed in the Penutian family. Synonym for Wintu.

Penutian language family
August 14, 2017

The Dakubetede were an Athapascan tribe of Oregon which extended slightly beyond the northern border of California. The Dakubetede belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock, using a dialect identical with that of the Taltushtuntude.

Athabaskan (Dene') Language

Karok Indians

3 Views
August 14, 2017

Originally considered an independent stock, the Karok are now classed in a much larger linguistic connection known as the Hokan family. Their closest relatives are the Chimariko and Shasta.

Hokan language family