Cree Indians

The Cree Indian nation is one of the largest tribes in Canada and the U.S .

Montana in the U.S.A and the north west territories and Alberta are the main places or home two the Cree Nation . Population wise around 30000 live in Montana ,  67000 in Manitoba ,36000 in Ontario ,95000 in Alberta and the North West territories its around 25000.

So, the Cree are two divisions of the same tribe   one group in Canada and the other in the U.S.

The Northern Cree occupy the eastern part of Canada along with the Eastern Cree who also live near the coast .Whilst the woodland Cree hunted Moose ,Caribou ,Beaver, and rabbits and also went fishing in the rivers and lakes using canoes, so their diet was quite varied .The Eastern cree also fished being near the coast they were able to catch seals and other sea fish as well.

The Plains Cree became fully nomadic and joined other tribes out on the Plains to hunt Buffalo .

Their origins go back along way to when they were a sub-Artic group of people who eventually migrated south to their present-day lands.

So, while the plains cree lived in tepees with the other tribes out on the plains the other groups.

The northern and Eastern Cree lived in houses built of Birch bark and these were known as wigwams ,or wetus and akas .

Their lodges or Wigwam could contain several family members in groups of 8 or 12 people.

If a band wanted to move away, they would then do so and would seek out another group to be with giving the howl group better protection and safety .

Each band was separate unit within the tribe ,however if an outside enemy caused problems, they then would band to gether with other groups where they would then elect a war chief or leader .

Their spiritual beliefs were basically all living things in the universe had spiritual energy so that everything was connected .

The  clothing they wore depended on  where they lived and the seasons .

In the Summer they would where breechcloths and in the winter they would where fringed tunics or shirts and leggings . Also cloaks and robes would be wrapped around an individual as added protection against the winter weather .

They first encountered the Europeans around 1682on the banks of the Mouth of the river Nelson and Hayes river .

Latter in 1732 contact was made with southern bands around 200cree warriors were wearing war paint along with some members of the Monsoni tribe a band of the Ojibwe tribe .

They were getting ready to attack the Dakota Sioux and another group of Ojibwe Indians .

During this early period the Cree acquired firearms from the Hudson Bay company which is still in existence today as   “a department store “

Over time the plains Cree came into more contact with the White settlers and when the Canadian Pacific railroad was being constructed the Cree and the Metis joined to gether to fight the government forces as encroachment on to their hunting grounds caused them to fight to try and hang on to their lands and their way of life.                                                                                                       Eventually like all other plains people they were forced on to reserves and reservations where they were told to become farmers like the Europeans settlers .

So, to the present day the Cree being one of the largest Indian tribes on Turtle island they have several reservations in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada they  have a reservation  lying in the foothills and plains of Bear Paw mountains in the state of Montana which they share with the Ojibwe .

The reservation is primarily farming and livestock herding and each year in August they celebrate the

Rocky Boy Powwow .

Famous Cree Indians include Chief Big Child ,Chief Pound Maker, Star Blanket, Flash In The Sky ,Fine Day  and Cut Nose .