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Why do you need to install a special keyboard and font?




Many First Nations languages require a number of characters that are not available on the standard English keyboard. To type these characters, you must install a keyboard (a program which reorganizes how your physical keyboard works) as well as a good font that renders characters in Indigenous languages properly.

For some characters to appear properly at all, you must be using Windows XP or Mac 10.2 or higher. These operating systems support Unicode, which is the system that allows all characters to be displayed properly and consistently across different devices and the internet. Earlier PC and Mac operating systems do not support Unicode technology sufficiently. Even if you are using a recent operating system, not all of your applications will necessarily be Unicode compliant.



Installing the correct font




  1. Click here to download the BC Sans font
  2. Once the download is complete, unzip the font
  3. Open the unzipped font folder to see the "Regular", "Bold", "Italic", and "BoldItalic" font files
  4. For PC computers with Windows 7, 8, 10

    • Double click the font file and Font Viewer will open a preview of the font
    • Right click on the font file and click “Install”
    • Repeat for each of the four font files in order to be able to use regular, bold, italic, and bold+italic fonts

    For Mac computers

    • Double click the unzipped font file and Font Book will open a preview of the font
    • Click “Install Font” at the bottom of the preview window
  5. You may need to restart your computer for the font to be available in all applications



Find your keyboard




Click on your language site name below to see the page for your keyboard on Keyman. The name of that keyboard is what you would search for during the installation; instructions for installation can be found in the next section on this page.

There are many different languages and many different devices so if your device isn't listed here, or you need extra help installing a keyboard, please email us at support@fpcc.ca




Installing the correct keyboard



On a phone or tablet


If you are installing the FirstVoices keyboard for your language on mobile devices, such as a phone or tablet, you can download the FirstVoices Keyboards app on for iPhone/iPad or Android. Search for "FirstVoices" in the App Store for iPhone/iPad or in the Google Play Store for Android. Further instructions for using the FirstVoices keyboard app can be found here: iPhone/iPad Userguide or Android Userguide.


On a computer


Installing the FirstVoices keyboard for your language on a computer will be done through a keyboard software called Keyman. Go to https://keyman.com and follow along with the instructions in the following video:


  1. If you are installing your keyboard on Mac computer



  2. If you are installing your keyboard on a PC Windows 10 computer



  3. If you are installing your keyboard on a Chromebook, Keyman keyboards are not currently compatible. However, if the model of your Chromebook has Tablet Mode, then you can use the FirstVoices Keyboard App from the Google Play store when the Chromebook is in tablet mode. And for Chromebooks that don't have tablet mode, a FirstVoices Chromebook extension is now available for some keyboards. If you would like your keyboard added to the Chromebook extension, email us at hello@firstvoices.com.





Keyboard safety and privacy




Please note that FirstVoices keyboards, including the mobile app and computer keyboards, do NOT track, log or view any of your personal data (such as passwords, credit card info, etc.).



What to do if a keyboard doesn't exist for your language




If your community doesn't have an existing FirstVoices Keyman keyboard that suits your unique orthography, the FirstVoices team is available to develop one for you! Click here to read our Request a new keyboard.