Cree and Dene lesson on a blackboard



CILLDI is the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute. We are dedicated to the revitalization of Canada’s Indigenous languages through documentation, teaching, and literacy.



Learn an Indigenous language or gain expertise in the areas of linguistics, endangered language documentation and revitalization, language and literacy learning, second language teaching and curriculum development, and language policy and planning!

Our programs provide a unique opportunity to earn university credit while learning about Indigenous languages and culture.

Learn more about our programs!


Five major language families and nearly thirty living languages, representing a linguistic richness rare in North America, have been present at CILLDI at one time or another as spoken by our Elders, instructors, or students. These include Algonquian, Athapaskan, Siouan, Eskimo-Aleut, and Salishan.

Learn more about the diversity and geography of languages here.

Interested in volunteering with CILLDI?
Check out our Volunteer Program Assistant opportunity.


Subscribe to the CILLDI email list to receive updates on new classes, bursary availability, and summer school information.

Subscribe to CILLDI Updates 


We have conducted exit surveys during each CILLDI summer session. The following reflections are indicative of how strongly students feel about what the Institute has offered them.

"I appreciated the cultural activities, the Elders, the excellent classes, and the first day when we all sat in a circle and had a chance to share a bit."

"In all my years of taking courses I have never enjoyed a course as I did this one."

"I'm really glad to see an Institute such as this one because for years I've been looking to improve myself in the area of language work and curriculum and so forth as it relates to Native languages. It has been difficult to find courses in Canada that offer this. I hope it grows into something bigger."

"People from the university level, people with PhDs or Masters, they're getting involved with more or less the grassroots people and I think that's a very good move."

"Continuing to speak the Cree language was most useful to me; listening to elders speaking in Cree was just as important. The cultural component was very beneficial."

"Everything was great. I especially liked the cultural component. I have never experienced this kind of instruction. It is very interesting and keeps you focused."

"I enjoyed the Elders' stories and the field trips we went on."

"The best thing about CILLDI this year was the effort to include people in student/staff meetings and social gatherings. CILLDI staff is the best thing about CILLDI."