Cree Indians

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See also Chippeewa-Cree Indians

Tribal Headquarters

Numerous 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.


Contact with the non-Indians occured early in the 1600's. By the late 1600's the tribe was trading with the coloist 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 deminished leaving the tribe near starvation.

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

The tribe was ravaged by tuberculosis, flu, measels, 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: Intertribal war with the Blackfeet, Dakota, Crow, Cheyenne, Nez Perce and Flathead

1860: population of the Plains Cree numbered 12,500

1881: Buffalo herds deminished; 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


Important Websites




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


  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL 970.1 R259e; WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published