The Cree Indians of North America

Essay by MikeGallagherJunior High, 7th gradeA+, March 2004

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The Cree are a group of Native American people. They're origin is southern Canada and northern America. The Cree live in small groups called bands which are named after the places where they live. Some of the bands are the Eastern Cree, the Plains Cree, Woodlands Cree, East and West Swampy Cree, Moose Cree, and Attikamek Cree. The Cree have many aspects to their life.


In the early 1600's to the late 1800's, the Cree had a government in which the whole tribe made decisions. There was more than one leader. Most of the power came from the chiefs of the tribe. An important person for the Cree tribe was Chief Poundmaker who took part in Métis rebellion against the Canadian government in 1885. He was convicted of treason, served a term in prison, and died shortly after his release. One of the important documents for the Cree was the treaty they signed with the Canadian government that ended the protest against the damns in Quebec.

The government paid them millions of dollars for the damage done to their land. The political aspects are very important in Cree life.


The Cree believe in many different things. They believe in spirits and demons that would occasionally show up in their sleep. The Plains Cree believe in one creator called the Great Manito, who controls the whole universe. Manito is too powerful to be asked blessings directly, so instead, he is approached by go-betweens which are powers called atayohkanak. One of the most important ceremonies for the Cree is the vision quest. When a young man has reached an age to be considered an adult, he is sent out away from people and fasts for several days. The boy will usually have a vision, and this is supposedly supposed...