|356,655 (2016 census)|
Including Atikamekw and Innu
|Regions with significant populations|
|British Columbia||35,885 (2016)|
|Cree, Cree Sign Language, English, French|
|Anglicanism, Cree tribal religion, Pentecostalism, Roman Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Métis, Oji-Cree, Ojibwe, Innu|
The Cree (Cree: néhinaw, néhiyaw, etc.; French: Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada, where they form one of the country's largest First Nations.
In Canada, over 350,000 people are Cree or have Cree ancestry. The major proportion of Cree in Canada live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. About 27,000 live in Quebec.
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.
The documented westward migration over time has been strongly associated with their roles as traders and hunters in the North American fur trade.
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:
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.
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. However, 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).
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, the Metis Nation, 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.
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.
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, Cristenaux, and Cristinaux, used the term for numerous tribes which they encountered north of Lake Superior, in Manitoba, and west of there. 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.
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.
Main article: 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, the mother tongue (i.e. language first learned and still understood) of approximately 96,000 people, and the language most often spoken at home of about 65,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Labrador. It is the most widely spoken aboriginal language in Canada. The only region where Cree has official status is in the Northwest Territories, together with eight other aboriginal languages.
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."
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)."
Golla counts Cree dialects as eight of 55 North American languages that have more than 1,000 speakers and which are being actively acquired by children.
The Cree are the largest group of First Nations in Canada, with 220,000 members and 135 registered bands. Together, their reserve lands are the largest of any First Nations group in the country. 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.
The Métis (from the French, Métis – of mixed ancestry) are people of mixed ancestry, such as Cree (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 Cree women or, from unions of English or Scottish traders and northern Dene women (Anglo-Métis). 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".
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.
In Manitoba, the Cree were first contacted by Europeans in 1682, at the mouth of the Nelson and Hayes rivers 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, (a branch of the Ojibwe). Both groups had donned war paint in preparation to an attack on the Dakota and another group of Ojibwe.
After acquiring firearms from the HBC, the Cree moved as traders into the plains, acting as middlemen with the HBC.
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. Today, the Naskapi are settled into two communities: Kawawachikamach Quebec and Natuashish, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach is located in the Naskapi village of Kawawachikamach, 15 km (9.3 mi) northeast of Schefferville, Quebec. The village is in the reserve of the same name.
The Mushuau Innu First Nation, located in the community of Natuashish, Newfoundland and Labrador, is located in the Natuashish 2 reserve on the coast of Labrador.
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.
Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam based in Sept-Îles, Quebec, in the Côte-Nord region on the Saint Lawrence River. They own two reserves: Maliotenam 27A, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) east of Sept-Îles, and Uashat 27, within Sept-Îles.
Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John is based out of Schefferville, Quebec. One reserve, Matimekosh, is an enclave of Schefferville. The other, Lac-John, is 2 km (1.2 mi) outside the town.
Première Nation des Innus de Nutashkuan is based on their reserve of Natashquan 1 or Nutashkuan. The reserve is located on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence at the mouth of the Natashquan River.
Montagnais de Pakua Shipilocated 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. The community is adjacent to the settlement of Saint-Augustin.
Montagnais de Unamen Shipuare located at La Romaine, Quebec at the mouth of the Olomane River on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. They have one reserve; Romaine 2.
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. Sheshatshiu is located adjacent to the Inuit community of North West River. The Sheshatshiu Nation has one reserve, Sheshatshiu 3.
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.
Bande des Innus de Pessamit 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.
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.
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. The First Nations:
Eeyou Istchee is a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) of Nord-du-Québec represented by the Grand Council of the Crees. 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.
Moose Cree (Cree: Mōsonī or Ililiw), also known as Moosonee are located in Northeastern Ontario.
Constance Lake First Nation is the only Cree member of Matawa First Nations. They are located on their reserves, Constance Lake 92 and English River 66, in the Cochrane District, Ontario.
Mushkegowuk Council, based in Moose Factory, Ontario, represents chiefs from seven 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. The Chapleau Cree First Nation and their two reserves, Chapleau Cree Fox Lake and Chapleau 75, are located outside of Chapleau, Ontario in the Sudbury District. The Kashechewan First Nation community is located on the northern shore of the Albany River on James Bay. The Hudson's Bay Company established a post, Fort Albany, at this location between 1675 and 1679. Kashechewan First Nation is one of two communities that were established from Old Fort Albany, the other being Fort Albany First Nation. The two Nations share the Fort Albany 67 reserve. The Missanabie Cree First Nation signed Treaty 9 in 1906 but did not receive any reserved lands until 2018. The Missanabie reserve is in the Missanabie, Ontario area. The Moose Cree First Nation is based in Moose Factory in the Cochrane District. Moose Factory was founded in 1672–1673 by Charles Bayly, the first overseas governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and was the company's second post. It was the first English settlement in what is now Ontario. The Nation has two reserves: Factory Island 1 on Moose Factory Island, an island in the Moose River, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from its mouth at James Bay; and Moose Factory 68, a tract of land about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) upstream on the Moose River. The Taykwa Tagamou Nation has two reserves, New Post 69, and their main reserve, New Post 69A outside Cochrane, Ontario along the Abitibi River.
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. Brunswick House's reserves are Mountbatten 76A and Duck Lake 76B located in the Sudbury District near Chapleau, Ontario. The Matachewan First Nation is on the Matachewan 72 reserve near Matachewan township in the Timiskaming District.
Further information: Swampy Cree
Fort Severn First Nation and their reserve, Fort Severn 89, located on the mouth of the Severn River on Hudson Bay, is the most northern community in Ontario. It is a member of Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council.
Mushkegowuk Council, based in Moose Factory, Ontario, represents chiefs from seven First Nations across Ontario. Swampy Cree members are: Fort Albany First Nation and Attawapiskat First Nation. Fort Albany First Nation is located at Fort Albany, Ontario, on the southern shore of the Albany River at James Bay. The reserve, Fort Albany 67, is shared with the Kashechewan First Nation. The Attawapiskat First Nation is located at mouth of the Attawapiskat River on James Bay. The community is on the Attawapiskat 91A reserve. The Attawapiskat 91 reserve is 27,000 hectares (67,000 acres) on both shores of the Ekwan River, 165 kilometres (103 mi) upstream from the mouth on James Bay.
Independent from a Tribal Council is the Weenusk First Nation located in Peawanuck in the Kenora District. The community was located on their reserve of Winisk 90 on the mouth of the Winisk River on James Bay but the community was destroyed in the 1986 Winisk flood and the community had to be relocated to Peawanuck.
Keewatin Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Thompson, Manitoba that represents eleven First Nations, of which five are Swampy Cree, across northern Manitoba. Fox Lake Cree Nation is based in Gillam, 248 kilometres (154 mi) northeast of Thompson via Provincial Road 280 (PR 280), and has several reserves along the Nelson River. Shamattawa First Nation is located on their reserve, Shamattawa 1, on the banks of the Gods River where the Echoing River joins. The community is very remote; only connected via air or via winter ice roads to other First Nation communities. The Tataskweyak Cree Nation is located in the community of Split Lake, Manitoba within the Split Lake 171 reserve, 144 kilometres (89 mi) northeast of Thompson on PR 280, on the lake of the same name on the Nelson River system. War Lake First Nation possess several reserves but are located on the Mooseocoot reserve in the community of Ilford, Manitoba, 35 kilometres (22 mi) east of York Landing. York Factory First Nation is based on the reserve of York Landing, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Split Lake via ferry. York Factory was a settlement and Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post, established in 1684, on the shore of Hudson Bay, at the mouth of the Hayes River. In 1956, the trading post was closed and the community was moved inland to the current site.
Swampy Cree Tribal Council is, as the name suggests, a Tribal Council of seven Swampy Cree First Nations across northern Manitoba and is based in The Pas. The Chemawawin Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree) are based on their reserve Chemawawin 2, adjacent to Easterville, Manitoba, 200 kilometres (120 mi) southeast of The Pas. Mathias Colomb First Nation (also Rocky Cree) is located in the community of Pukatawagan on the Pukatawagan 198 reserve. Misipawistik Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree) is located near Grand Rapids, Manitoba, 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Winnipeg at the mouth of the Saskatchewan River as it runs into Lake Winnipeg. Mosakahiken Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree) is located around the community of Moose Lake about 63 kilometres (39 mi) southeast of The Pas on their main reserve, Moose Lake 31A. Opaskwayak Cree Nation (also Rocky Cree) has several reserves but most of the population lives on the Opaskwayak 21E reserve, immediately north of and across the Saskatchewan River from The Pas. The Sapotaweyak Cree Nation is located in the Shoal River 65A reserve adjacent to the community of Pelican Rapids, about 82 kilometres (51 mi) south of The Pas. Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation has several reserves but the main reserve is Swan Lake 65C which contains the settlement of Indian Birch, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of The Pas.
Not affiliated with any Tribal Council: Fisher River Cree Nation, Marcel Colomb First Nation, and Norway House Cree Nation. Fisher River Cree Nation, located approximately 177 kilometres (110 mi) north of Winnipeg in Koostatak on Lake Winnipeg, control the Fisher River 44 and 44A reserves. Marcel Colomb First Nation is located outside of Lynn Lake on the Black Sturgeon reserve on Hughes Lake, 289 kilometres (180 mi) northwest of Thompson via Provincial Road 391. Norway House Cree Nation is located in Norway House which is located on the Playgreen Lake section of the Nelson River system on the north side of Lake Winnipeg. In 1821, Norway House became the principal inland fur trading depot for the Hudson Bay Company. Norway House was also where Treaty 5 was signed. They control more than 80 reserves from less than 2 hectares (4.9 acres) to their largest, Norway House 17, at over 7,600 hectares (19,000 acres). The Nation is one of the most populous in Canada with 8,599 people as of November 2021[update].
Prince Albert Grand Council is based in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and is owned by twelve First Nations of which three are Swampy Cree. Cumberland House Cree Nation is based in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan on the Cumberland House Cree Nation 20 reserve, 97 kilometres (60 mi) southwest of Flin Flon, Manitoba. Cumberland House, founded in 1774 by Samuel Hearne, was the site of the HBC's first inland fur-trading post. The Red Earth First Nation is located in the community of Red Earth, on the banks of the Carrot River, on the Carrot River 29A reserve. Close by is the Red Earth 29 reserve, about 75 kilometres (47 mi) east of Nipawin. Shoal Lake Cree Nation is located in Pakwaw Lake, on the Shoal Lake 28A reserve, 92 kilometres (57 mi) east of Nipawin.
Further information: Woodland Cree
The Keewatin Tribal Council, described under Swampy Cree, also represents Rocky Cree First Nations in Manitoba. The Barren Lands First Nation is located on the north shore of Reindeer Lake close to the Saskatchewan border. It has one reserve, Brochet 197, 256 kilometres (159 mi) northwest of Thompson, adjoining the village of Brochet. The Bunibonibee Cree Nation is located along the eastern shoreline of Oxford Lake at the headwaters of the Hayes River. The Nation controls several reserves with the main reserve being Oxford House 24 adjacent to the community of Oxford House, Manitoba, 160 kilometres (99 mi) southeast of Thompson. God's Lake First Nation is located in the God's Lake Narrows area on the shore of God's Lake. The main reserve is God's Lake 23, 240 kilometres (150 mi) southeast of Thompson. The Manto Sipi Cree Nation also live on God's Lake in the community of God's River on the God's River 86A reserve, about 42 kilometres (26 mi) northeast of God's Lake Narrows. All of the Rocky Cree communities of Keewatin Tribal Council are remote; only connected via air and ice road during winter months.
Five of the Swampy Cree Tribal Council First Nations contain Rocky Cree populations: Chemawawin Cree Nation, Mathias Colomb First Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation, Mosakahiken Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
In Saskatchewan, the Prince Albert Grand Council, described under Swampy Cree, also has Rocky Cree members. The Lac La Ronge First Nation is one of the most populous First Nations in Canada with a registered population of 11,604 as of November 2021[update]. The Nation is based in La Ronge on the Lac la Ronge 156 reserve but has other communities on other reserves. La Ronge is 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of Prince Albert at the north end of Saskatchewan Highway 2. The Montreal Lake First Nation, on their reserves of Montreal Lake 106, is on the southern shore of Montreal Lake, 93 kilometres (58 mi) north of Prince Albert. Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is also a populous First Nation with 11,563 people as of November 2021[update]. The Nation has eight communities and controls a large number of reserves; the administrative center is Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan, 80 kilometres (50 mi) northeast of Flin Flon, Manitoba. The Sturgeon Lake First Nation is located on the Sturgeon Lake 101 reserve on the eastern shore of Sturgeon Lake about 29 kilometres (18 mi) northwest of Prince Albert.
Not affiliated with any Tribal Council are Cross Lake First Nation, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, and O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation. The Cross Lake First Nation is a populous Nation with a registered population of 9,138 people as of November 2021[update]. The Nation is in Cross Lake, Manitoba on the Cross Lake 19 reserve, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Lake Winnipeg. The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation is based in Nelson House, Manitoba on the Nelson House 170 reserve located 19 kilometres (12 mi) south of Thompson. The O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation is located in the settlement of South Indian Lake, 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Thompson. Marcel Colomb First Nation, listed under Swampy Cree, also has a Rocky Cree population.
Further information: Woods Cree
The Canoe Lake Cree First Nation is based in Canoe Narrows, Saskatchewan on the Canoe Lake 165 reserve. The Nation is a member of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
The Bigstone Cree Nation is based in Wabasca, Alberta, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) northeast of Slave Lake, on the Wabasca 166A reserve. The Nation is not associated with a Tribal Council. 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.
The Fort McMurray First Nation is located on the reserves Gregoire Lake 176 and 176A located about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of Fort McMurray near Anzac, Alberta on Gregoire Lake. They are the only Cree member of the Athabasca Tribal Council.
Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council is based in Atikameg, Alberta with five members: The Loon River First Nation is headquartered in Red Earth Creek with reserves to the immediate west near Loon Lake. The Lubicon Lake Band is based in the settlement of Little Buffalo, approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of Peace River. The Peerless Trout First Nation is located in Peerless Lake on the Peerless Trout 238 reserve, about 45 kilometres (28 mi) west of Red Earth Creek. Whitefish Lake First Nation is based in Atikameg, on the western shore of Utikuma Lake on the Utikoomak Lake 155 reserve, 61 kilometres (38 mi) north of High Prairie. The Woodland Cree First Nation is located in the hamlet of Cadotte Lake on the Woodland Cree 226 reserve, 48 kilometres (30 mi) northeast of Peace River.
Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council, based out of the town of Slave Lake, Alberta is, as the name suggests, a Tribal Council of First Nations surrounding Lesser Slave Lake. Member Nations include: The Driftpile First Nation, based in Driftpile, on the Drift Pile River 150 reserve, 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of Slave Lake. The Kapawe'no First Nation is headquartered at Grouard, which is near High Prairie. They have six reserves, predominately located west of Lesser Slave Lake. The Sawridge First Nation is based in Slave Lake and the two reserves, Sawridge 150G and 150H, are adjacent to the town. The Sucker Creek First Nation is based in Enilda, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of High Prairie, on the Sucker Creek 150A reserve. Finally, the Swan River First Nation, near Kinuso, 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of Slave Lake, controls the Swan River 150E and Assineau River 150F reserves.
The Little Red River Cree Nation is based out of the settlement of John D'Or Prairie, Alberta, 48 kilometres (30 mi) east of Fort Vermilion, on the John D'Or Prairie 215 reserve. They are a member of the North Peace Tribal Council based out of High Level, Alberta.
The Mikisew Cree First Nation is based in the community of Fort Chipewyan on the western tip of Lake Athabasca, approximately 225 kilometres (140 mi) north of Fort McMurray. They are not a member of a Tribal Council. Fort Chipewyan, one of the oldest European settlements in Alberta, was established in 1788 by the North West Company as a fur trading post.
Western Cree Tribal Council is based out of Valleyview, Alberta. Cree member Nations are: Duncan's First Nation is based in Brownvale, adjacent to the reserve Duncan's 151A, 39 kilometres (24 mi) southwest of Peace River. The Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation is on the Sturgeon Lake 154 reserve, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Valleyview.
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.
File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Kātēpwēwi-sīpīwiyiniwak 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
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
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.
Touchwood Agency Tribal Council, based in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, is a Tribal Council of four First Nations, collectively known as the Touchwood Hills Cree (Pasākanacīwiyiniwak). The Cree Nations are: Day Star First Nation, George Gordon First Nation, Kawacatoose First Nation, and Muskowekwan First Nation.
Yorkton Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Cree members are: Kahkewistahaw First Nation and Ocean Man First Nation.
Without affiliation with any Tribal Council: Beardy's and Okemasis' Cree Nation, Cowessess First Nation, Ochapowace Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation, White Bear First Nations.
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.
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.
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is a Tribal Council based in Fairford, Manitoba. The council has six Nations as members but the only Cree member is Peguis First Nation.
Without affiliation with any Tribal Council: Big Island Lake Cree Nation, Thunderchild First Nation.
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.
Further information: Beaver Hills (Alberta)
Maskwacis Cree Tribal Council is based in the unincorporated community of Maskwacis, (formerly Hobbema) Alberta, located 70 kilometres (43 mi) south of Edmonton. The members are Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, Montana First Nation, and Samson Cree Nation. All four members have individual reserves that surround the community of Maskwacis: Ermineskin 138, Louis Bull 138B, Montana 139, Samson 137, and Samson 137A. And all four share the reserve of Pigeon Lake 138A, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) to the northwest.
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. The Alexander First Nation is located on the reserve of Alexander 134, west of Morinville and 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Edmonton. Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation is based on the Alexis 133 reserve, outside Glenevis, 70 kilometres (43 mi) northwest of Edmonton. The O'Chiese First Nation and Sunchild First Nation control the reserves O'Chiese 203 and Sunchild 202 which are adjacent to each other 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Rocky Mountain House.
Not affiliated with any Tribal Council: Enoch Cree Nation, Paul First Nation, and Saddle Lake Cree Nation Enoch Cree Nation is located on their main reserve, Enoch Cree Nation 135, adjacent to the western boundary of the city of Edmonton. The Paul First Nation is based on the Wabamun 133A reserve, 58 kilometres (36 mi) west of Edmonton. Saddle Lake Cree Nation is one of the most populous Nations in Canada with 11,235 people as of November 2021[update]. The Nation is located in Saddle Lake, Alberta on the Saddle Lake 125 reserve, 24 kilometres (15 mi) west of St. Paul, Alberta.
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
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 Cree use the pitch of Abies balsamea for menstrual irregularity, and take an infusion of the bark and sometimes the wood for coughs. They use the pitch and grease used as an ointment for scabies and boils. They apply a poultice of pitch applied to cuts. They also use a decoction of pitch and sturgeon oil used for tuberculosis, and take an infusion of bark for tuberculosis. They also use the boughs to make brush shelters and use the wood to make paddles.
The Hudson Bay Cree use a decoction of the leaves of Kalmia angustifolia for diarrhea, but they consider the plant to be poisonous.
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. 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. 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. They also incorporate the berries of 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.
David H. Pentland, "Synonymy"
The French Canadians...call them 'Krees', a name which none of the Indians can pronounce ...