Cree


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Cree,

Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). They formerly inhabited the area S of Hudson Bay and James Bay in what is now Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba S of the Churchill River. Members of one branch of the Cree, allying themselves with the Siouan Assiniboin, moved southwestward into buffalo territory and became the Plains Cree. It is probable that they introduced the method of hunting buffalo by driving them into enclosures, since the Woodland Cree used this method in hunting deer. The traditional culture and language of the Woodland Cree greatly resembles that of the OjibwaOjibwa
or Chippewa
, group of Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages).
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.

A warlike tribe, the Cree were nevertheless friendly toward French and English fur traders, and their history is closely connected with the activities of the Hudson's Bay and the North West companies. They were powerful in the late 18th cent. until smallpox drastically reduced their population. In 1884 they were involved in the second Riel Rebellion (see Riel, LouisRiel, Louis
, 1844–85, Canadian insurgent, leader of two rebellions, b. Manitoba, of French and Métis parentage. In 1869–70 he led the rebels of the Red River settlements, mainly Métis (people of mixed European–indigenous descent) and indigenous
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), in Saskatchewan.

About 200,000 Cree live in 135 bands in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. They have the largest population and are spread over the largest geographic area of any aboriginal group in Canada. In the 1990s, Cree living in N Quebec waged strong opposition to the province's planned massive James Bay hydroelectric project, but in 2002 they negotiated an agreement with Quebec that permitted partial hydroelectric development, mining, and logging in exchange for jobs and $3.5 billion in financing (over 50 years). The agreement also recognized the autonomy of the Cree as a native nation. In 2012 they signed an agreement with Quebec to establish the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory (largely the former Baie-James municipality), 114,801 sq mi (297,333 sq km), to be jointly governed by Crees and non-Cree residents. In 1990 there were over 8,000 Cree in the United States, some of them sharing a reservation in Montana with the Ojibwa.

Bibliography

See L. Mason, The Swampy Cree (1967); E. T. Denig, Five Indians Tribes of the Upper Missouri (1975).

Cree

 

one of the Algonquian-speaking Indian tribes of North America.

In the 17th century they lived in the western part of the Labrador Peninsula; in the early 19th century they settled in the vast forest-plains territory of Canada. The Cree consisted of two culturally and historically different groups—the Plains Cree, who were mounted buffalo hunters, and the Forest Cree, who were hunting and fishing peoples. The Plains Cree were placed on reservations in the late 19th century, whereas the Forest Cree remained hunters and gradually changed to a settled way of life. Many of the modern Cree are employed as hired laborers. The Cree are formally Christians (Catholics), although they preserve elements of their ancient totemistic beliefs. The Cree population totaled more than 60,000 in 1967.

Cree

(dreams)

The Mistassini Cree are a sub-Arctic people living in northern Quebec who attempt to carry on a lifestyle and culture that was traditionally built around hunting and trapping. The Cree have made some partial compromises with Canadian society by spending the summers at government outposts, but in the winters they live much as they did more than three hundred years ago, when Europeans first entered the area.

Particularly during the winter, the Cree are most interested in divinatory dreams as they relate to the hunt. Such divinatory dreams are not straightforward, in the sense that they most often require interpretation. For example, one of the most common rules of interpretation is that meeting a stranger of the opposite sex in a dream indicates a game animal. Events in the dream then serve as metaphors for what will happen during the hunt. For instance, in a study of the Mistassini Cree, Adrian Tanner includes the account of a man who dreamed he met an Eskimo woman who invited him to live with her. The man refused the invitation and later while hunting sighted a caribou, which he shot at but missed, and it got away.

The Cree also regard dreams as sources of creative inspiration and spiritual guidance. Tanner observes, for instance, that “power. is sometimes thought to arrive in dreams, in the form of formulae for songs, or shamanistic techniques, or ideas for the decoration of clothing or other objects” (p. 126—see Sources).

Thus, according to Tanner, dreams serve to connect ordinary daily activities with a spirit realm, giving one’s life a larger significance in the cosmic view of things.

References in periodicals archive ?
Cree products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and solar inverters.
He pointed out events like the Mahtesa Nehiyawetan evening of immersion Cree was meant to not only encourage young people to converse in Cree, but to inspire members of the Four Nations at Hobbema, meaning parents, to speak Cree to their children at home.
Brightman includes a short history of the various dialects of the Rock Cree and in which regions these dialects are located.
Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and setting the stage to obsolete the incandescent light bulb through the use of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly LED lighting.
Cree drives its increased performance technology into multiple applications, including exciting alternatives in brighter and more- tunable light for general illumination, backlighting for more-vivid displays, optimized power management for high-current, switch-mode power supplies and variable-speed motors, and more-effective wireless infrastructure for data and voice communications.
As of last week, Cree had posted 587 short videos to YouTube, the Internet site that has energized videography with its all-comers inclusiveness.
Under the La Paix des Braves agreement, the CMEB's main role is to assist nine Quebec Cree communities in accessing and developing mineral exploration opportunities.
In 2000, the Tataskweyak Cree Nation signed an agreement in principle with Manitoba Hydro to jointly build the 640-megawatt Keeyask dam at Gull Rapids on the Nelson River.
Stressing the importance and vitality of oral tradition and storytelling in Cree culture, this book is peppered with English translations of narratives from Cree informants, which serve as the basis of Preston's analysis of Cree culture.
I really want to know the Cree language myself, because I feel like I have this empty spot inside me.
Breaking with the conformity which graduate school can at times impose, Preston traveled north to the Cree community of Waskaganish, convinced that how people live their lives and express their experiences "on the ground" reveals more about their culture than the theories that abounded "in the abstract world of intellectual circles" (p.
He identifies historical groups both within the Hudson Bay Lowlands and throughout a good portion of Western Woods Cree territory.