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Michif (also Mitchif, Mechif, Michif-Cree, Métif, Métchif, French Cree) about 500 Metis people in North Dakota and scattered locations in Canada still speak Michif, a unique French-Cree creole using French nouns, Cree verbs, and some local vocabulary borrowed from Indian languages like Ojibway or Dene. Unlike most creoles, Michif shows little if any grammatical simplification--the polysynthetic verb phrases of Cree are preserved in their full complexity. It's likely that Michif originated, not as a pidgin between Crees and Frenchmen trying to communicate with each other, but as a badge of identity and occasionally-necessary secret code among Metis raised in both languages (similar to Yiddish in Europe). Most Michif speakers today are fluent in neither Cree nor French. Children are no longer learning Michif, leading linguists to class the language as "moribund" (headed for extinction), but there have been efforts to revive its use as a cultural language in some Metis communities.

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