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The Cree (Cree: Néhinaw, Néhiyaw, etc; French: Cri) are one of the largest groups of First Nations in North America.

Néhinaw, Néhiyaw, etc.
Total population
392,420 (2016 census)
Including Atikamekw and Innu
Regions with significant populations
Canada, United States
British Columbia35,885
Newfoundland and Labrador3,255
Northwest Territories2,195
Nova Scotia1,780
Cree, Cree Sign Language, English, French
Anglicanism, Pentecostalism, Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Métis, Oji-Cree, Ojibwe, Innu

In Canada, over 350,000 people are Cree or have Cree ancestry.[2] The major proportion of Cree in Canada live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.[3] About 27,000 live in Quebec.[4]

In the United States, Cree people historically lived from Lake Superior westward. Today, they live mostly in Montana, where they share the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation with Ojibwe (Chippewa) people.[5]

The documented westward migration over time has been strongly associated with their roles as traders and hunters in the North American fur trade.[6]

Sub-groups / GeographyEdit

The Cree are generally divided into eight groups based on dialect and region. These divisions do not necessarily represent ethnic sub-divisions within the larger ethnic group:

  • Naskapi and Montagnais (together known as the Innu) are inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan. Their territories comprise most of the present-day political jurisdictions of eastern Quebec and Labrador. Their cultures are differentiated, as some of the Naskapi are still caribou hunters and more nomadic than many of the Montagnais. The Montagnais have more settlements. The total population of the two groups in 2003 was about 18,000 people, of which 15,000 lived in Quebec. Their dialects and languages are the most distinct from the Cree spoken by the groups west of Lake Superior.
  • Atikamekw are inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan (Our Land), in the upper St. Maurice River valley of Quebec (about 300 km north of Montreal). Their population is around 4,500.
  • East CreeGrand Council of the Crees; approximately 18,000 Cree (Iyyu in Coastal Dialect / Iynu in Inland Dialect) of Eeyou Istchee and Nunavik regions of Northern Quebec.[7]
  • Moose CreeMoose Factory[8] in the Cochrane District, Ontario; this group lives on Moose Factory Island, near the mouth of the Moose River, at the southern end of James Bay. ("Factory" used to refer to a trading post.)[9]
  • Swampy Cree – this group lives in northern Manitoba along the Hudson Bay coast and adjacent inland areas to the south and west, and in Ontario along the coast of Hudson Bay and James Bay. Some also live in eastern Saskatchewan around Cumberland House. It has 4,500 speakers.
  • Woods Cree – a group in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • Plains Cree – a total of 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana.

Due to the many dialects of the Cree language, the people have no modern collective autonym. The Plains Cree and Attikamekw refer to themselves using modern forms of the historical nêhiraw, namely nêhiyaw and nêhirawisiw, respectively. Moose Cree, East Cree, Naskapi, and Montagnais all refer to themselves using modern dialectal forms of the historical iriniw, meaning 'man.' Moose Cree use the form ililiw, coastal East Cree and Naskapi use iyiyiw (variously spelled iiyiyiu, iiyiyuu, and eeyou), inland East Cree use iyiniw (variously spelled iinuu and eenou), and Montagnais use ilnu and innu, depending on dialect. The Cree use "Cree," "cri," "Naskapi, or "montagnais" to refer to their people only when speaking French or English.[10]

Political aboriginal organizationEdit


Nēhiyaw camp near Vermilion, Alberta, in 1871

As hunter-gatherers, the basic unit of organization for Cree peoples was the lodge, a group of perhaps eight or a dozen people, usually the families of two separate but related married couples, who lived together in the same wigwam (domed tent) or tipi (conical tent), and the band, a group of lodges who moved and hunted together. In the case of disagreement lodges could leave bands, and bands could be formed and dissolved with relative ease, but as there is safety in numbers, all families would want to be part of some band, and banishment was considered a very serious punishment. Bands would usually have strong ties to their neighbours through intermarriage and would assemble together at different parts of the year to hunt and socialize together. Besides these regional gatherings, there was no higher-level formal structure, and decisions of war and peace were made by consensus with allied bands meeting together in council. People could be identified by their clan, which is a group of people claiming descent from the same common ancestor; each clan would have a representative and a vote in all important councils held by the band (compare: Anishinaabe clan system).[11]

Each band remained independent of each other. However, Cree-speaking bands tended to work together and with their neighbours against outside enemies. Those Cree who moved onto the Great Plains and adopted bison hunting, called the Plains Cree, were allied with the Assiniboine and the Saulteaux in what was known as the "Iron Confederacy", which was a major force in the North American fur trade from the 1730s to the 1870s. The Cree and the Assiniboine were important intermediaries in the Indian trading networks on the northern plains.[3]

When a band went to war, they would nominate a temporary military commander, called a okimahkan. loosely translated as "war chief". This office was different from that of the "peace chief", a leader who had a role more like that of diplomat. In the run-up to the 1885 North-West Rebellion, Big Bear was the leader of his band, but once the fighting started Wandering Spirit became war leader.


There have been several attempts to create a national political organization that would represent all Cree peoples, at least as far back as a 1994 gathering at the Opaskwayak Cree First Nation reserve.[12]


The name "Cree" is derived from the Algonkian-language exonym Kirištino˙, which the Ojibwa used for tribes around Hudson Bay. The French colonists and explorers, who spelled the term Kilistinon, Kiristinon, Knisteneaux,[13][14] Cristenaux, and Cristinaux, used the term for numerous tribes which they encountered north of Lake Superior, in Manitoba, and west of there.[15] The French used these terms to refer to various groups of peoples in Canada, some of which are now better distinguished as Severn Anishinaabe (Ojibwa), who speak dialects different from the Algonquin.[16]

Depending on the community, the Cree may call themselves by the following names: the nēhiyawak, nīhithaw, nēhilaw, and nēhinaw; or ininiw, ililiw, iynu (innu), or iyyu. These names are derived from the historical autonym nēhiraw (of uncertain meaning) or from the historical autonym iriniw (meaning "person"). Cree using the latter autonym tend to be those living in the territories of Quebec and Labrador.[10]


Cree language.

The Cree language (also known in the most broad classification as Cree-Montagnais, Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi, to show the groups included within it) is the name for a group of closely related Algonquian languages[3] spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Labrador. It is the most widely spoken aboriginal language in Canada.[17] The only region where Cree has official status is in the Northwest Territories, together with eight other aboriginal languages.[18][19]

The two major groups: Nehiyaw and Innu, speak a mutually intelligible Cree dialect continuum, which can be divided by many criteria. In a dialect continuum, "It is not so much a language, as a chain of dialects, where speakers from one community can very easily understand their neighbours, but a Plains Cree speaker from Alberta would find a Quebec Cree speaker difficult to speak to without practice."[20]

One major division between the groups is that the Eastern group palatalizes the sound /k/ to either /ts/ (c) or to /tʃ/ (č) when it precedes front vowels. There is also a major difference in grammatical vocabulary (particles) between the groups. Within both groups, another set of variations has arisen around the pronunciation of the Proto-Algonquian phoneme *l, which can be realized as /l/, /r/, /y/, /n/, or /ð/ (th) by different groups. Yet in other dialects, the distinction between /eː/ (ē) and /iː/ (ī) has been lost, merging to the latter. In more western dialects, the distinction between /s/ and /ʃ/ (š) has been lost, both merging to the former. "Cree is a not a typologically harmonic language. Cree has both prefixes and suffixes, both prepositions and postpositions, and both prenominal and postnominal modifiers (e.g. demonstratives can appear in both positions)."[21]

Golla lists Cree as one of 55 North American languages that have more than 1,000 speakers and which are being actively acquired by children.[22]

Illustration of a Snake woman (left) and a Nehiyaw woman (right), c. 1840–1843, Karl Bodmer

Identity and ethnicityEdit

In CanadaEdit

Cree Indian, taken by G. E. Fleming, 1903

The Cree are the largest group of First Nations in Canada, with 220,000 members and 135 registered bands.[23] Together, their reserve lands are the largest of any First Nations group in the country.[23] The largest Cree band and the second largest First Nations Band in Canada after the Six Nations Iroquois is the Lac La Ronge Band in northern Saskatchewan.

Given the traditional Cree acceptance of mixed marriages, it is acknowledged by academics that all bands are ultimately of mixed heritage and multilingualism and multiculturalism was the norm. In the West, mixed bands of Cree, Saulteaux and Assiniboine, all partners in the Iron Confederacy, are the norm. However, in recent years, as indigenous languages have declined across western Canada where there were once three languages spoken on a given reserve, there may now only be one. This has led to a simplification of identity, and it has become "fashionable" for bands in many parts of Saskatchewan to identify as "Plains Cree" at the expense of a mixed Cree-Salteaux history. There is also a tendency for bands to recategorize themselves as "Plains Cree" instead of Woods Cree or Swampy Cree. Neal McLeod argues this is partly due to the dominant culture's fascination with Plains Indian culture as well as the greater degree of written standardization and prestige Plains Cree enjoys over other Cree dialects.[12]

The Métis[24] (from the French, Métis - of mixed ancestry) are people of mixed ancestry, such as Nehiyaw (or Anishinaabe) and French, English, or Scottish heritage. According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Métis were historically the children of French fur traders and Nehiyaw women or, from unions of English or Scottish traders and northern Dene women (Anglo-Métis). Generally in academic circles, the term Métis can be used to refer to any combination of persons of mixed Native American and European heritage, although historical definitions for Métis remain. Canada's Indian and Northern Affairs broadly define Métis as those persons of mixed First Nation and European ancestry, while The Métis National Council defines a Métis as "a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation".[25]

In the United StatesEdit

At one time the Cree lived in northern Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. Today American Cree are enrolled in the federally recognized Chippewa Cree tribe, located on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, and in minority as "Landless Cree" on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and as "Landless Cree" and "Rocky Boy Cree" on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, all in Montana. The Chippewa Cree share the reservation with the Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians, who form the "Chippewa" (Ojibwa) half of the Chippewa Cree tribe. On the other Reservations, the Cree minority share the Reservation with the Assiniboine, Gros Ventre and Sioux tribes. Traditionally, the southern limits of the Cree territory in Montana were the Missouri River and the Milk River.[26]

First contactEdit

The Cree were first contacted by Europeans in 1682, at the mouth of the Nelson and Hayes rivers in what is now northern Manitoba, by a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) party traveling about 100 miles (160 km) inland. In the south, contact was later. In 1732 in what is now northwestern Ontario, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, met with an assembled group of 200 Cree warriors near present-day Fort Frances, as well as with the Monsoni,[27] (a branch of the Ojibwe). Both groups had donned war paint in preparation to an attack on the Dakota and another group of Ojibwe.[28]

After acquiring firearms from the HBC, the Cree moved as traders into the plains, acting as middlemen with the HBC.

First Nation communitiesEdit



Naskapi communities

The Naskapi are the Innu First Nations inhabiting a region of northeastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada. The Naskapi are traditionally nomadic peoples, in contrast with the territorial Montagnais, the other segment of Innu. The Naskapi language and culture is quite different from the Montagnais, in which the dialect changes from y to n as in "Iiyuu" versus "Innu". Iyuw Iyimuun is the Innu dialect spoken by the Naskapi.[29] Today, the Naskapi are settled into two communities:


Eastern MontagnaisEdit

Eastern Montagnais communities

Innus of Ekuanitshit live on their reserve of Mingan, Quebec, at the mouth of the Mingan River of the Saint Lawrence River in the Côte-Nord (north shore) region.[36] The community is 182 km (113 mi) by road east of Sept-Îles, Quebec.

Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam based in Sept-Îles, Quebec, in the Côte-Nord region on the Saint Lawrence River.[37] They own two reserves: Maliotenam 27A and Uashat 27 located at both ends of Sept-Îles.[38]

Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John is based out of Schefferville, Quebec.[39] One reserve, Matimekosh, is an enclave of Schefferville. The other, Lac-John, is 2 km (1.2 mi) outside the town.[40]

Première Nation des Innus de Nutashkuan based on their reserve of Natashquan or Nutashkuan. The reserve is located on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence at the mouth of the Natashquan River, 336 km (209 mi) by road east of Sept-Îles, Quebec.[41] Natashquan Airport is 1,035 km (643 mi) northeast of Montreal and 721 km (448 mi) northwest of St. John's.[42]

Montagnais de Pakua Shipi [fr] located in the community of Pakuashipi, Quebec, on the western shore of the mouth of the Saint-Augustin River on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the Côte-Nord region.[43] The community is adjacent to the settlement of Saint-Augustin and not connected by the North American road network. Saint-Augustin Airport is 1,284 km (798 mi) east of Montreal and 586 km (364 mi) northwest of St. John's.[44]

Montagnais de Unamen Shipu [fr] are located at La Romaine, Quebec at the mouth of the Olomane River on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. They have one reserve; Romaine 2.[45] The community is 467 km (290 mi) by road east of Sept-Îles.[46]

Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation located in the community of Sheshatshiu in Labrador and is located approximately 45 km (28 mi) north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.[33] Sheshatshiu is located adjacent to the Inuit community of North West River. The Sheshatshiu Nation has one reserve, Sheshatshiu 3.[47]

Western MontagnaisEdit

Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation is located on the reserve of Mashteuiatsh in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, 8 km (5.0 mi) north of Roberval, Quebec, on the western shore of Lac Saint-Jean.[48] The reserve is 265 km (165 mi) north of Quebec City.

Bande des Innus de Pessamit [fr] based in Pessamit, Quebec, is located about 58 km (36 mi) southwest of Baie-Comeau along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the mouth of the Betsiamites River. It is across the river directly north of Rimouski, Quebec. Pessamit is 358 km (222 mi) northeast of Quebec City.[49]

Innue Essipit are based in their reserve of Essipit, adjacent to the village of Les Escoumins, Quebec. The community is on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the mouth of the Escoumins River in the Côte-Nord region, 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Tadoussac and 250 km (160 mi) northeast of Québec.[50]

Atikamekw (Nehiraw)Edit

Map of Nitaskinan

Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, officially named Atikamekw Sipi - Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, is a tribal council in Quebec, Canada. It is composed of three Atikamekw First Nations. The council is based in La Tuque, Quebec. The Atikamekw are inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan ("Our Land"), in the upper Saint-Maurice River valley.[51][52] The First Nations:

James Bay CreeEdit

Eeyou Istchee is a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) of Nord-du-Québec represented by the Grand Council of the Crees.[57] On 24 July 2012, the Quebec government signed an accord with the Cree Nation that resulted in the abolition of the neighbouring municipality of Baie-James and the creation of the new Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, providing for the residents of surrounding Jamésie TE and Eeyou Istchee to jointly govern the territory formerly governed by the municipality of Baie-James. Eeyou Istchee is a territory of eight enclaves within Jamésie plus one enclave (Whapmagoostui) within Kativik TE. Each enclave is a combination of a Cree reserved land (TC) and a Cree village municipality (VC), both with the same name.

Location of Eeyou Istchee within Québec
  • Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi was recognized as the tenth Cree Nation Community at the 2003 Annual General Assembly of the Cree Nation.[73][74] The Nation does not yet have a community or reserve recognized by either the Canadian or Quebec governments but the Nation has chosen an area about 40 minutes' drive south of Matagami.[75]

Moose CreeEdit

Constance Lake First Nation in Constance Lake, Ontario is the only Cree member of Matawa First Nations.[76]

Mushkegowuk Council, based in Moose Factory, Ontario, represents chiefs from six First Nations across Ontario. Moose Cree members are: Chapleau Cree First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Missanabie Cree First Nation, Moose Cree First Nation, and Taykwa Tagamou Nation.[77]

Wabun Tribal Council is a regional chief's council based in Timmins, Ontario representing Ojibway and Cree First Nations in northern Ontario. Moose Cree members are: Brunswick House First Nation and Matachewan First Nation.[78]

Swampy CreeEdit

Fort Severn First Nation on Hudson Bay, is the most northern community in Ontario. It is a member of Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council.[79]

Keewatin Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Thompson, Manitoba that represents eleven First Nations across northern Manitoba. The Swampy Cree members are: Fox Lake Cree Nation, Shamattawa First Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree), War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation.[80]

Mushkegowuk Council, based in Moose Factory, Ontario, represents chiefs from six First Nations across Ontario. Swampy Cree members are: Fort Albany First Nation and Attawapiskat First Nation.[77]

Prince Albert Development Corporation is based in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and is owned by twelve First Nations. Swampy Cree members include: Cumberland House Cree Nation, Red Earth First Nation, and Shoal Lake Cree Nation.[81]

Swampy Cree Tribal Council is, as the name suggests, a Tribal Council of Swampy Cree First Nations across northern Manitoba. The eight members include: Chemawawin Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree), Marcel Colomb First Nation (also Rocky Cree), Mathias Colomb First Nation (also Rocky Cree), Misipawistik Cree Nation (formerly known as Grand Rapids First Nation) (also Rocky Cree), Mosakahiken Cree Nation (Also 'Cree' name for Moose Lake First Nation), Opaskwayak Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree), Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation.[82]

Not affiliated with any Tribal Council: Fisher River Cree Nation,[83] Norway House Cree Nation,[84] and Weenusk First Nation.[85]

Woodland CreeEdit

Rocky CreeEdit

Keewatin Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Thompson, Manitoba that represents eleven First Nations across northern Manitoba. The Rocky Cree members are: Barren Lands First Nation, Bunibonibee Cree Nation, God's Lake First Nation, and Manto Sipi Cree Nation.[86]

Prince Albert Development Corporation is based in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and is owned by twelve First Nations. Rocky Cree members include: Lac La Ronge First Nation, Montreal Lake First Nation, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, and Sturgeon Lake First Nation.[81]

Swampy Cree Tribal Council is also owned by several First Nations with Rocky Cree populations: Chemawawin Cree Nation, Marcel Colomb First Nation, Mathias Colomb First Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation (formerly known as Grand Rapids First Nation), Mosakahiken Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation.[82]

Black Sturgeon First Nation

Not affiliated with any Tribal Council are Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation,[87] O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation,[88] and Cross Lake First Nation.[89]

Woods CreeEdit

Athabasca Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The two Cree member Nations are Fort McMurray First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation, The Tribal Council has three other non-Cree members.[90]

Bigstone Cree Nation is not associated with a Tribal Council.[91] The Bigstone Cree Nation was divided into two bands in 2010, with one group continuing under the former name, and the other becoming the Peerless Trout First Nation.

Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council is based in Atikameg, Alberta with five members: Loon River First Nation, Lubicon Lake Band, Peerless Trout First Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation, and Woodland Cree First Nation.[92]

Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council is, as the name suggests, a Tribal Council of First Nations surrounding Lesser Slave Lake. Member Nations include: Driftpile First Nation, Kapawe'no First Nation, Sawridge First Nation, Sucker Creek First Nation, and Swan River First Nation.[93]

Meadow Lake Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan with nine member First Nations. The members with a Woods Cree populations is Canoe Lake Cree First Nation[94]

North Peace Tribal Council is a Tribal Council of five First Nations based out of High Level, Alberta. The only Cree member is Little Red River Cree Nation[95]

Western Cree Tribal Council is based out of Valleyview, Alberta. Cree member Nations are: Duncan's First Nation, Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.[96]

Plains CreeEdit

Downstream peopleEdit

Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs is a Tribal Council located in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Members are: Ahtahkakoop First Nation, Moosomin First Nation, Mosquito-Grizzly Bear's Head-Lean Man, Red Pheasant First Nation, Saulteaux First Nation, and Sweetgrass First Nation.[97]

File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Cree member Nations are: Little Black Bear First Nation, Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation, Nekaneet Cree Nation, Okanese First Nation, Pasqua First Nation, Peepeekisis Cree Nation, Piapot Cree Nation, and Star Blanket Cree Nation[98]

Meadow Lake Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan with nine member First Nations. The members with Plains Cree populations are Flying Dust First Nation, Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation, Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation, and Waterhen Lake First Nation[94]

Saskatoon Tribal Council is, as the name suggests, a Tribal Council based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Cree member Nations are: Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Muskoday First Nation, and One Arrow First Nation.[99]

Touchwood Agency Tribal Council, based in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, is a Tribal Council of four First Nations, collectively known as the Touchwood Hills Cree. The Cree Nations are: Day Star First Nation, George Gordon First Nation, Kawacatoose First Nation, and Muskowekwan First Nation.[100]

Yorkton Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Cree members are: Kahkewistahaw First Nation and Ocean Man First Nation.[101]

Without affiliation with any Tribal Council: Beardy's and Okemasis' Cree Nation,[102] Cowessess First Nation,[103] Ochapowace Nation,[104] Onion Lake Cree Nation,[105] Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation,[106] White Bear First Nations.[107]

Upstream peopleEdit

Agency Chiefs Tribal Council is a Tribal Council located in Spiritwood, Saskatchewan representing three First Nations: Pelican Lake First Nation, Big River First Nation, and Witchekan Lake First Nation.[108]

Battlefords Tribal Council is based in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, The three member Nations are Lucky Man Cree Nation, Little Pine First Nation, and Poundmaker First Nation.[109]

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Fairford, Manitoba. The only Cree member is Peguis First Nation.[110]

Without affiliation with any Tribal Council: Big Island Lake Cree Nation,[111] Thunderchild First Nation.[112]

Tribal Chiefs Ventures is a Tribal council based in Edmonton with the following Cree members: Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, and Kehewin Cree Nation.

Beaver Hills Cree (Amiskwacīwiyiniwak)

Maskwacis Cree Tribal Council is based in the unincorporated community of Maskwacis, (formerly Hobbema) Alberta. The members are: Ermineskin Cree Nation (formerly: Ermineskin's Band of Cree)(also Nakoda), Louis Bull Tribe (formerly: Louis Bull's Band of Cree), Montana First Nation, and Samson Cree Nation (formerly: Samson's Band of Cree).[113]

Yellowhead Tribal Council is based in Morinville, Alberta. Member nations are: Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, O'Chiese First Nation, and Sunchild First Nation.[114]

Not affiliated with any Tribal Council: Enoch Cree Nation (formerly: Enoch's Band of Cree) – Winterburn, Alberta,[115] Paul First Nation (formerly: Paul's Band of Cree),[116] Saddle Lake Cree Nation[117]

United StatesEdit

Montana Indian Reservations

Fort Peck Indian Reservation located near Fort Peck, Montana

Chippewa Cree on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in northern Montana

Fort Belknap Indian Reservation located at Fort Belknap Agency, Montana

Other First NationsEdit

Papaschase First Nation, removed from land that now makes up southeast Edmonton, were a party to Treaty 6 but are not recognized by the Canadian government.


The Hudson Bay Cree use a decoction of the leaves of Kalmia latifolia for diarrhea, but they consider the plant to be poisonous.[118]

Woods Cree subgroupEdit

The Woods Cree make use of Ribes glandulosum using a decoction of the stem, either by itself or mixed with wild red raspberry, to prevent clotting after birth, eat the berries as food, and use the stem to make a bitter tea.[119] They make use of Vaccinium myrtilloides, using a decoction of leafy stems used to bring menstruation and prevent pregnancy, to make a person sweat, to slow excessive menstrual bleeding, to bring blood after childbirth, and to prevent miscarriage. They also use the berries to dye porcupine quills, eat the berries raw, make them into jam and eat it with fish and bannock, and boil or pound the sun-dried berries into pemmican.[120] They use the berries of the minus subspecies of Vaccinium myrtilloides to colour porcupine quills, and put the firm, ripe berries on a string to wear as a necklace.[121] They also incorporate the berries the minus subspecies of Vaccinium myrtilloides into their cuisine. They store the berries by freezing them outside during the winter, mix the berries with boiled fish eggs, livers, air bladders and fat and eat them, eat the berries raw as a snack food, and stew them with fish or meat.[121]

Notable Cree peopleEdit

Mähsette Kuiuab, chief of the Cree, 1840–1843, Karl Bodmer.
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Cree singer-songwriter, performing in Norway, 2012.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Main references used for the Cree First Nation communities:
    First Nation Profile:"Welcome to First Nation Detail". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. 26 September 2019.


  1. ^ Raeside, Rob (6 January 2018). "Canada - Indigenous Peoples (Canada)". Flags of the World.
  2. ^ "2016 Canadian Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Cree". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada. 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ "2016 Canada Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage". Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation.
  6. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander (1903). Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793. New York: A. S. Barnes & Company at Project Gutenberg
  7. ^ "Les Amérindiens du Canada" [Amerindians of Canada] (in French). Authentik Canada.
  8. ^ "Moose Cree First Nation community profile". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008.
  9. ^ First Nations (Map). Government of Ontario.
  10. ^ a b Honigmann, John J. (1981). "West Main Cree". In June Helm; William C. Sturtevant (eds.). Handbook of North American Indians. Volume 6: Subarctic. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-16-004578-3. David H. Pentland, "Synonymy"
  11. ^ Dorian, Jon (30 October 2012). "Traditional Cree Nation Custom Council". Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree Nation.
  12. ^ a b Maclead, Neal (2000). "Plains Cree Identity: Borderlands, Ambiguous Genealogies and Narratives Irony" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Native Studies. 20 (2): 437–454. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 June 2017.
  13. ^ McLeod, Neal. "Cree". Indigenous Saskatchewan Encyclopedia. University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  14. ^ Mackenzie, Alexander (1931). Milo Quaife (ed.). Alexander Mackenzie's voyage to the Pacific ocean in 1793. The Lakeside Press, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co.
  15. ^ Thompson, David (1971). "Life with the Nahathaways". Travels in western North America, 1784-1812. Macmillan of Canada. p. 109. The French them 'Krees', a name which none of the Indians can pronounce ...
  16. ^ Greeberg, Adolph M.; Morrison, James (1982). "Group Identities in the Boreal Forest: The Origin of the Northern Ojibwa". Ethnohistory. 29 (2): 75–102. JSTOR 481370.
  17. ^ "Canada: 2006 Census". Statistics Canada.
  18. ^ "Languages Overview". Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat. Government of Northwest Territories. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Languages of Canada". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Retrieved 21 September 2008. Note: The western group of languages includes Swampy Cree, Woods Cree and Plains Cree. The eastern language is called Moose Cree.
  20. ^ "Cree". Language Geek. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
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