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Native Americans

Cree Tribe

History >> Native Americans for Kids

The Cree are a First Nations tribe who live throughout central Canada. There are over 200,000 Cree living in Canada today. A small group of Cree also live in the United States on a reservation in Montana.

The Cree are often divided up into a number of smaller groups such as the James Bay Cree, Swampy Cree, and Moose Cree. They can also be divided into two major culture groups: the Woodland Cree and the Plains Cree. The Woodland Cree live in the forested areas of central and eastern Canada. The Plains Cree live in the Northern Great Plains in Western Canada.

Cree Indian
by George E. Fleming

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Cree lived in small bands throughout Canada. They hunted game and gathered nuts and fruit for food. When the Europeans arrived, the Cree traded furs with the French and British for goods like horses and clothing.

For many years, the influx of European settlers into America had little effect on the daily life of the Woodland Cree in northern Canada. The Plains Cree, however, took on the "horse culture" of the plains Indians and became bison hunters. Over time, the expansion of European settlers and the loss of the bison herds, forced the Plains Cree to move to reservations and take up farming.

What kind of homes did the Cree live in?

The Woodland Cree lived in lodges made from wooden poles covered with animal hides, bark, or sod. The Plains Cree lived in teepees made from buffalo hides and wooden poles.

What language do they speak?

The Cree language is an Algonquian language. Different groups speak different dialects, but they can generally understand each other.

What was their clothing like?

The Cree made their clothes from animal hides such as buffalo, moose, or elk. The men wore long shirts, leggings, and breechcloths. The women wore long dresses. During the cold winters both men and women would wear long robes or cloaks to keep warm.

What type of food did they eat?

The Cree were mostly hunter-gatherers. They hunted a variety of game including moose, duck, elk, buffalo, and rabbit. They also gathered food from plants such as berries, wild rice, and turnips.

Cree Government

Before Europeans arrived, the Cree had little in the way of formal government. They lived as small bands each led by a chief. The chief was respected and listened to, but did not rule over the people. Today, each Cree reservation has its own government led by a chief and a council of leaders.

Interesting Facts about the Cree Tribe
Activities For more Native American history:

Culture and Overview
Agriculture and Food
Native American Art
American Indian homes and Dwellings
Homes: The Teepee, Longhouse, and Pueblo
Native American Clothing
Roles of Women and Men
Social Structure
Life as a Child
Mythology and Legends
Glossary and Terms

History and Events
Timeline of Native American History
King Philips War
French and Indian War
Battle of Little Bighorn
Trail of Tears
Wounded Knee Massacre
Indian Reservations
Civil Rights

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Cheyenne Tribe
Iroquois Indians
Navajo Nation
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Osage Nation
Sioux Nation

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Works Cited

History >> Native Americans for Kids

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