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Beaver (Dane-zaa) Dane-zaa or Beaver, and formerly called Tsattine or Beaver Indian, is the native language of the Beaver First Nations communities of Alberta and British Columbia in western Canada. It is classified as an Athabascan language and it is closely related to the languages spoken by neighbouring Athabaskan groups, such as Slavey, Sekani, Sarcee, Chipewyan, and Kaska.

Rev A.C. Garrioch

The Rev Alfred Campbell Garrioch (1848-1934) was a Christian missionary of the Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS). He was born in Manitoba in Canada in 1848. In 1874 he was appointed as a schoolmaster by Bishop Bompas for the CMS. In 1876 he established a CMS mission and Indian children training school at Fort Vermilion, under the name of Unjaga Mission. He learnt and analysed the Beaver language and translated the Gospel of Mark into Beaver. In 1878 he travelled to eastern Canada to raise funds for a boarding school and to hire a teacher and a farmer. In the mid 1880s he visited England where he had his work in the Beaver language printed. In 1886 Garrioch returned to mission work among the Beaver Indians of Peace River at Dunvegan, when he was ordained priest by the Bishop of Athabasca. In 1892 he returned to Manitoba. In 1905 he retired from active work and settled at Portage-le-Prairie (Portage La Prairie) in Manitoba. In 1925 he wrote 2 autobiographical accounts of his life called The Far and Furry North and in 1929 A Hatchet Mark in Duplicate. He died in 1934.

Gospel of Mark

In 1885 the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) published a Primer and a Vocabulary in the Beaver Indian Language. In 1886 SPCK published a Manual of Devotion in the Beaver Indian Language and also published his Gospel of Mark in syllabic characters with syllabarium, supplementary syllabarium, chapter headings and illustrations. In 1886 the British and Foreign Bible Society published his Gospel of Mark in Roman characters without the illustrations.

Digital Edition

The 1886 BFBS Roman script edition was initially digitised. This was then converted to Canadian Syllabic script as used in the original 1886 SPCK Gospel of Mark. With the permission of SPCK, this text was placed into the Digital Bible Library (DBL), and posted online on YouVersion and BibleSearch where it is freely available. It is also available to the Canadian Bible Society for its native languages project, and from the DBL it is available to be requested by other agencies.

This is a heritage SPCK text made available by the British and Foreign Bible Society with permission.

British & Foreign Bible Society


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