Cree Indians

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Canada Gotoarrow.png United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Indians of Montana Gotoarrow.png Cree Indians

Guide to Cree Indians ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.

See also Chippeewa-Cree Indians

The linguistic subdivisions of the Cree (American Indian) language.

Tribal Headquarters

There are numerous headquarters throughout Canada. Only one in Montana. The Cree are northern Ojibwa's. Their territory or districts were located primarily in Canada. There is no one capitol or headquarters for the Cree in general. Their largest communities which you might want to refer to as headquarters are Moosone, Moose Factory, and Chisasibi. All look like cities. Chisasibi has a population of over 4,000. Other large Cree settlements are Cross Lake and Norway House. However, they don't have the appearance of towns.

History

Contact with the non-Indians occurred early in the 1600's. By the late 1600's the tribe was trading with the colonist and the Hudson Bay Company which had trading posts on the Nelson, Moose and Albany rivers.Trade was established with both the French and British.

In the 1730's the tribe moved to the prairies, tribal leaders wanted the tribe to be independent and less dependent on the trading post. The prairies were inhabited by the Assiniboin who became their ally.

During the 1800's many converted to Christianity

The tribe had inter tribal conflicts and war with Blackfeet, Crow, Cheyenne, Dakota,Flathead and Nez Perce tribes.

By 1881 the buffalo herds had diminished leaving the tribe near starvation.

Assigned to the Rocky Boy Reservation with the Chippewa tribe in 1916.

The tribe was ravaged by tuberculosis, flu, measles, whooping cough and bronchitis during 1920-1940.

Brief Time Line

1611: First non-Indian contact with Henry Hudson

Late 1600's: Cree were trading with colonist and the Hudson Bay Company which had set up post at the mouth to the Nelson, Moose and Albany rivers.

1730: Removed to the prairies, making them less dependent on the trading post. They took over land held by the Assinboin, The Assiniboin became their principal ally

1700's: Trade relations with the Blackfeet, these relations were maintained until 1790-1810 when the relation broke down

1800: Missionaries convert many to Christianity

The Cree traded with both the English and the French

1840: Inter-tribal war with the Blackfeet, Dakota, Crow, Cheyenne, Nez Perce and Flathead

1860: Population of the Plains Cree numbered 12,500

1881: Buffalo herds diminished; the tribe near of starvation

1899: Population 6,807

1916: Assigned with the Chippewa to the Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana

1920-1940: Many die from tuberculosis, flu, measles, whooping cough and bronchitis

Records

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Agencies

Upper Missouri Agency

Superintendencies

St. Louis Superintendency

Important Websites

For Further Reading

Cree

  • Carlson, Paul H. The Plains Indians. College Station, Texas: Texas A.M. University Press, c1998. FHL Book 970.1 C197p

General

For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.

References