Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics

Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics is a Unicode block containing characters for writing Inuktitut, Carrier, several dialects of Cree, and Canadian Athabascan languages. You can find the additions for some Cree dialects, Ojibwe, in the Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics Extended block.

Canadian Aboriginal syllabic writing, or simply syllabics, is a family of abugidas (consonant-based alphabets) used to write a number of Aboriginal Canadian languages of the Algonquian, Inuit, and (formerly) Athabaskan language families. They are valued for their distinctiveness from the Latin script of the dominant languages and for the ease with which literacy can be achieved. In fact, by the late 19th century the Cree had achieved one of the highest rates of literacy in the world.

Canadian syllabics are currently used to write all of the Cree languages from Naskapi (spoken in Quebec) to the Rocky Mountains, including Eastern Cree, Woods Cree, Swampy Cree and Plains Cree. You can also see them as Inuktitut texts in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Actually these Canadian syllabics perform as co-official with the Latin script in the territory of Nunavut.

Apart from that, this script is met regionally for the other large Canadian Algonquian language, Ojibwe in Western Canada, as well as for Blackfoot, where the alphabet is actually considered obsolete. Among the Athabaskan languages further to the west, the syllabics have been used to write Dakelh (Carrier), Chipewyan, Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib) and Dane-zaa (Beaver).

As for the United States, you may come across this kind of writing in communities that straddle the border, but it's mostly a Canadian phenomenon.


Range 1400–167F
Characters 640

List of Characters

Representation in Unicode