The Cowichan Valley Métis Michif Project Coordinators are pleased to announce the completion of our third language DVD, Speak Michif III. The DVD content was developed in order to support the preservation and revitalization of Metis language. Studies have shown that the younger you are the easier it is to learn language. For this reason our concept for the DVD’s was developed to specifically target children; however, a person of any age can learn basic Michif language from the DVD’s.


The Michif taught in this DVD is the dialect spoken by our elder, Stella Johnson. The beautiful art work and web design was created and developed by Earlene Bitterman. We would like to thank the Sullivan’s, Shaylyn, Owen and David, for volunteering to participate in the “Meeting Someone New” segment. We would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Heritage/Patrimoine canadien Aboriginal Language Initiative whose support made this project possible. Copies of the new Speak Michif III will be distributed to BC provincial Metis organizations to share with their community members.


Thank you!

The Cowichan Valley Metis Association


Project Concept and Management

Marilyn Bean


Marilyn BeanMarilyn was born in Victoria, BC. Her Metis family (Monkman, Tate, Fraser, Whitford, Beaudry dit Gaudry, Spence, Bear) can be found across the prairies. The concept for this project came from her own struggles of trying to learn Michif and knowing that the earlier you learn a second language the easier it is. This project was her dream to keep the culture alive and leave a legacy for not only her grandchildren but everyone’s grandchildren.


Project Concept and Management

Jan Ovans


Jan BioJan was born in Edmonton, Albert a.  Her Metis family (Plante, Belcourt, Chalifoux) stem from the Lac St Anne/St Albert area.  Jan’s knowledge as a retired teacher provided educational perspective.   Jan is currently active in the Cowichan Valley Metis Association as Vice –President.


Stella Erasmus Johnson ~ Michif Instructor


Stella BioStella Erasmus Johnson provided the Michif translations for this project. Stella is a Cree/Michif language instructor, and an Elder in Residence at Vancouver Island University. The daughter of a Cree/Métis mother and a Cree/Métis father, Stella was raised in McLennan Alberta, by her paternal grandmother, Margarite Erasmus. "My Kohkum often told me stories about her father Joseph Noskey who moved to Alberta after getting scrip in 1875. She also used to talk about her mother's family, the

Ghostkeepers: just the sound of that name was exciting". Raised as one of nine children in post-war Alberta, Stella and her family utilized the natural resources around them to sustain livelihood. This hands-on experience of daily Métis lifestyle, Stella's skill with Métis arts and crafts, her ability to speak both Cree and Michif, has been an asset to Stella and her community

Earlene Bitterman


Earlene Bitterman ~ Métis Artist, Children's Book Illustrator


Earlene was born in Pouce Coupe BC to a traditional Metis family and raised in various communities in the north due to her family being in construction. She has lived on the Dempster highway NWT, Yukon, Fort McMurray, Dawson Creek, Mackenzie, Stikine River, Haida Gwaii and finally to return to the peace river country in 1990 to raise her family. Her passion is Metis genealogy and community history studying her own history Whitfords, Sansregrets, Collins and Bremners and her families’ pre-confederation ties to the Fort st John-Dunvegan Forts in Northern BC. Earlene is a graphics artist and cartoonist currently publishing a Metis colouring book to promote aboriginal culture to Metis children as well as children’s 0-6 Michif language animation project.


Her continued interest in revitalizing aboriginal languages has engaged her in the Michif Langage Project. Self-taught in computer programming and web design, she utilizes Adobe photoshop CS6, Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Dreamweaver CS 6, and Toonboom Animate Pro 2, along with many other programs to create learning projects for youth. Email: Website:



Courtney Campbell


Courtney Campbell ~ Music Scores

Courtney Campbell has been playing music nearly all of her life, and loves every minute of it. Along with playing piano, guitar, and fiddle, she also plays banjo, accordion, and saxophone, and is a very talented singer. !  


Courtney lives in Shawnigan Lake BC, teaching private music lessons and directing a small ensemble of young fiddlers during the week.





Stella's Singers


Stella's Michif Singers

My Grandpa's Farm


Children's voices for Grandpa's farm. A great big thanks to talent singers who contributed to the creative of the Michif Language DVD!







Useful Resources

Contact Information

Michif Language Project I, II, & III
Phone: Phone: 1 (250) 746-6146

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