Nadleh Whut'en First Nation Nadleh Whut'en First Nation

Our Language


In 1885 Father Morice dreams were realized and he was posted to Fort St. James, the fur trading and missionary center in the Carrier region. Father Morice rapidly learned the Carrier language and became the only missionary to speak more than rudimentary Carrier. Within a few months of his arrival he created the first writing system for Carrier, the Carrier syllabary, by making a radical adaptation of the Cree syllabics. From 1891-1894 he published a bimonthly newspaper, the Dustl'us Nawhulnuk, in Carrier. He was responsible for the translation of the catechism and many hymns and prayers into the language.

From this, Father Morice was the first person to recognize all of the phonological distinctions in an Athabascan language and write it accurately.

He was also the first person to make extensive transcriptions of material in an Athabascan language. His magnum opus was his massive two volumes The Carrier Language: A Grammar and Dictionary, which immediately made Carrier by far the best-documented Athabascan language of the time.

Dakelh ABC's in Syllabics 

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