Cajun French dialect and culture is distinct from Creole French dialects and Creole cultures of New Orleans.
The development of creole languages is attributed to, but independent of, the emergence of creole ethnic identities.
People of mixed Alaska Native American and Russian ancestry are Creole, sometimes colloquially spelled "Kriol".
Louisianans who identify themselves as "Creole" are most commonly from historically Francophone and Hispanic communities.
Some of their ancestors came to Louisiana directly from France, Spain and others came via the French and Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and Canada.
Both the word and the ethnic group derive from a similar usage, which began in the 16th Century, in the Caribbean that distinguished people born in the French, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies from the various new arrivals born in their respective, non-Caribbean homelands.
Some writers from other parts of the country have mistakenly assumed the term to refer only to people of mixed racial descent, but this is not the traditional Louisiana usage.
The intermingling of promyshlenniki men with Aleut and Alutiiq women in the late 18th century gave rise to a people who assumed a prominent position in the economy of Russian Alaska and the north Pacific rim.
In the United States, the word "Creole" refers to people of any race or mixture thereof who are descended from colonial French La Louisiane and colonial Spanish Louisiana (New Spain) settlers before the Louisiana region became part of the United States in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.
Traditional French Creole is spoken among those families determined to keep the language alive or in regions below New Orleans around St. John Parishes where German immigrants originally settled (also known as 'the German Coast', or La Côte des Allemands) and cultivated the land, keeping the ill-equipped French Colonists from starvation during the Colonial Period and adopting commonly spoken French and Creole French (arriving with the exiles) as a language of trade.