Cree community, identity, and spirituality: further reflections on a century of transformations

2010 AC paper

include power point w/ NBC charts, and some photos (include the CRA bldg, the 1st church & the new ark)

Cree community, identity, and spirituality: further reflections on a century of transformations.

Richard J. Preston

McMaster University

First: community. In what ways are hunting groups and sedentary villages alike?

Second: identity. In what ways is the East Cree intuitive sense of one’s self like the deliberate fashioning of words defining a collective East Cree identity?

In what ways are hunting and politics alike? Hunting involves basic attitudes of fortitude and hope (Preston 2002:xxx), but politics is much more a group in negotiation and seeking for some middle ground that they can agree on, to coordinate their actions.

singing and sweating may have something in common, depending on the regional traditions they come from:

The Iiyuch hunting, traveling and conjuring songs are sung solo.

The Pow-wow songs and Christian hymns are sung by a group in unison.

The Iiyuch sweat lodge was (as far as I can remember) built for one person to go in at a time - something like the kwashapshigan.

The Pow-wow sweats are for groups to go in together.

Perhaps the Iiyuch cultural traditions put more emphasis on individual decisions and actions. Of course not everything is individual. There are coordinated hunts for geese and caribou, and whole families may go to break in a beaver house. Still, there seems to me to be an emphasis that "what a person does is up to the individual." Songs were only to be sung by the individual who made the song or was given the song.

The political transformation was managed by 15 men whose peer group experience as residential school students carried over into adult collaborations.

The old (Angers) paper starts here

What and where is home and community?

Michael Robinson, an Ojibwe poet and painter, wrote on one of his paintings that all living creatures came into this world with the same goal, to find a home. This simple yet profound truth tells us that we humans have this goal in common with all other living things.

What most humans – including the Crees – have now is a permanent residence with an address. But, thinking of home as a fixed or sedentary place is a situation that came fairly late in human history, and very late in Cree history. The more universal description of home would be to think of it as a small, intensely personal community located in a rather large place. Home is where those people may be expected to be seen at about that time during their yearly cycle of hunting. The size of the ecological range area of human hunters depends on the amount of food resources that are available, and this sets limits on the size of their communities.

If we sedentary folks were dropped into the Cree region’s northern bush, we would probably feel pretty uneasy, insecure, isolated, or even “lost in the wilderness”. But the bush was familiar and the source of living for a traditional Cree family, who might view it with the much more secure feeling that “Its nice to be home.”

What happens to home and community as people move off the land, into villages? We will come back to this question shortly.

What is Cree Identity?

Relatively isolated people are rarely faced with a need to find words to define themselves to others. They are simply born and raised in an intimate family setting, and gradually grow into the larger world around them. Intuitively, each person knows who they are, and each is more or less secure in their unspoken identity.

What happens to the intuitive sense of personal identity when people who have lived in relative isolation are confronted with strangers, especially strangers with the capacity to transform your life to the extent that you become a colonial?

What is Cree Spirituality?

Spirituality refers to a personal condition of whole-ness or holiness, at once open to personal revelations and to learning and being disciplined by respect for what has been learned by others. Spirituality encompasses a whole mode of life experience. Traditionally, the Cree hunters had a land-based spirituality, which incorporated peoples’ cumulative life experiences of the land and of hunting the animals. Cree spirituality made life meaningful, coherent, and hopeful.

What happens to spirituality when people move off the land and become townsmen?

Now let’s look more closely at the changes in home, identity, and spirituality.

Transformations in Home and Community

What and where is home? The Cree traditional answer had physical, moral and spiritual aspects. It was not a house in an urban setting, or a plot of land for farming. It was a large territory – an ecological range with which a hunter can find an adequate living for his family by hunting, fishing, fowling, and gathering. And so, collectively, this ecological home is “the land” that has been so central in negotiations and media statements.

Put simply, and focusing on the James Bay region in particular, there is a process of change to be traced back from the present villages, through the trappers regime of regulated, individually held, boundaried trapline areas, to some antecedent, indigenous 'cultural system' for coordinating the actions and locations of native harvesters. The main contrast that is to be made is between:

1) a modern cultural conception of the designation of uniform and specified rights to a specified material good, that is, allocation of a piece of land -- essentially the assignment of some real estate – for a house in a village and for a boundaried area of land allocated for trapping and hunting purposes, and

2) a traditional indigenous cultural system best conceived of in terms of the Cree personalized and fluidly adaptive hunting morality that normally guided and constrained the activities and locations of harvesters.

Hunting morality focuses on the availability of enough food-animals to secure a living for a family, and right conduct of relationships between people, and between people and animals. This refers to a great deal more than real estate. It includes a traditionally shared and individually understood mental 'map' of relationships to places, people, and animals:

(1) places: the homelands where people would typically have been active in harvesting, through their annual hunting, trapping, fishing, fowling, and gathering cycle,

(2) people: how they would have met their practical needs, and respected others in their decisions on where and what to harvest, and

(3) animals: how these decisions and actions would have been accommodated to the different behavioural characteristics of various species of animals and to their fluctuating populations, through the seasonal cycle.

The way that people respected each others’ rights to use their lands has been very stable for unknown centuries. Thomas Gorst speaks from his residence from 1670 - 1675 at the mouth of the Ruperts River.

The Indians about Rupert's River and other Places in the Bay, … are generally peaceable, and not given to quarrel either with themselves or others, except the Nodways, a wild and barbarous People on the Borders of Hudson's …

The Indians of certain Districhs [sic], which are bounded by such and such Rivers, have each an Okimah, as they call him, or Captain over them, who is an Old Man, consider'd only for his Prudence and Experience. He has no Authority but what they think to give him upon certain Occasions. He is their Speech-maker to the English; as also in their own grave Debates, when they meet every Spring and Fall, to settle the Disposition of their Quarters for Hunting, Fowling, and Fishing. Every Family have their Boundaries adjusted, which they seldom quit, unless they have not Success there in their Hunting, and then they join in with some Family who have succeeded. (Oldmixon 1708, reprinted in Tyrrell 1931:381-382)

In times of famine, boundaries were suspended for the sake of survival, and people would be expected to move constantly and for as great a distance as necessary to find food, with the expectation that no one would oppose them in this search, and more successful families would take in the needy.

During the 1860s, there was already a change in designation, from the Cree Okimah district leader to the trading post manager as the person who is appealed to as the Okimah - meaning "governor of the land" (Greg Spence, pers. comm. Feb 1990). This does not mean a complete displacement of the traditional district leader by the post manager, but it does mean at the very least, that the manager is now regarded not only as the person responsible for providing trade in outfitting supplies, but also as the person responsible for resolving grievances regarding trespass by persons from other trading post-districts.

In the 1920s and early 1930s, John M. Cooper obtained detailed accounts from capable informants, for land use patterns extending back in time for three or more generations. In short, he found that the principles for allocating land areas were still very similar to that reported more than two centuries before, by Gorst. Large rivers and their tributary small rivers define the areas. The scale of the areas and the density of the population in the 1870s may or may not be quite different from the situation of the 1670s, but the principles sound very familiar indeed. Fifty years later, Cooper’s one-time student and eventual replacement Regina Flannery, and her assistant Beth Chambers reviewed his material and a great deal of other commentary on the subject of hunting territories.

Territories centered on a drainage system, often tributaries of the major river systems which were the primary routes of travel. The inland lands were always described by reference to natural features of the terrain, such as river banks, confluences or forks of streams, sides of lakes, rocky points, rapids, and sometimes the distance from a post. The territories of families related by marriage were often contiguous, as in the example of two sets of half-brothers having a common father. To the extent that "edges" of holdings were referred to (although the term "boundaries" was seldom used by Cree respondents), the boundaries of contiguous holdings were reckoned within several miles, by reference almost always to landscape features, and sometimes to the grounds recognized as belonging to someone else. (1986:127-128)

What we lack in the Cooper-Flannery-Chambers data is an analysis of the effect of the traders on the allocation of harvesting land. I think it very plausible that the colonizing effects would eventually include some transformation toward smaller family hunting groups on smaller home territories. We have a dramatic comparison case in the coastal territories for Fort George, as a map in Flannery and Chambers (1986:Figure 5) shows, and as Cree elder Geordie Georgekish explained to me that, years ago, the HBC manager had divided these lands, "just like a checker board" into a string of ten mile square territories. (Preston 1981:198)

The size of family-hunting groups and the extent and locations of their hunting areas in the 1670s can only be guessed at. Recall that Gorst says he has seen 16 or 18 persons as a co-residential unit. So it is significant that Flannery found evidence for rather large hunting groups, sometimes larger than Gorst's 16 or 18 (Nute 1943:287), at a time of plenty. She recorded a maximum of seven commensal groups or "families" as a co-residential group during a winter when there were lots of caribou, about 1885 (1986:125-126). John Blackned told me of similar temporary gatherings into three-fire wigwams. Olaus J. Murie recorded in his journal (1914-1917) (but left out of his book) a similarly large group in a large 3-fire wigwam, on the east coast (Swallow's group, north of Eastmain) in the first decade of the 20th century (PAC).

There is an important spiritual side of the Cree traditions regarding the land. When I asked translator Greg Spence, he said that there is a Cree way of speaking about the land, and the “dressing” on the land, as in the trees, rivers, animals and humans. George Fulford, who learned a great deal from Peawanuck elder and historian Louis Bird, sent me this personal communication about dressing the earth.

Louis remembered the following phrase, which he says is used in oratory and has a "holy" and "respectful" connotation. The phrase is ashkii eshiwiinaahtamomakak (pronounced "ushk-ee ay-shee-wee-nah-tu-mo-mu-kuk") which means "the way in which the earth is dressed or clothed". A literal translation would be "in such a way in which the earth is clothed in something". I find the idea quite lovely, as one must change one's clothing as the earth does (i.e. when the earth is clothed with snow, we must put on our winter clothing, when the earth is clothed with leaves and grass we put on our summer clothing).

It is my understanding that the earth is inanimate because it is a creation. Like Hallowell's example of rocks which can sometimes become animate (e.g., when they are heated and put in a sweat lodge), the earth is capable of being "animated". However, as a general rule, it is the Creator who is animate and her/his creations are inanimate until given life by their respective "bosses". This is a spiritual explanation of the origin of life. It is worth considering that most body parts are inanimate in Cree and Ojibwe, suggesting that the physical form is inanimate until suffused with spiritual life force. I presume the same is true of the concept of earth.

If I'm right, then you must graft a spiritual epistemology onto the concept of "ecosystem" to approach a Cree understanding of such a term as ashkiieshiwiinaahtamomakak… (George Fulford, personal communication, 14 April 1998)

Changes, initially gradual, accelerated cumulatively during the 20th century, often through the decisions of Crees to incorporate practical or congenial aspects of their fur-trade and religious missionary experience. In the 1950’s and 1960’s they were losing their security on their lands and trying to adapt to colonizing government interventions and services. In the 1970’s they began regaining control, organizing to work critically through Cree initiatives, legal process and negotiations, and “the politics of embarrassment”. The present system of hunting ground allocations is more individuated than a century ago, but because the disposition of the individual territories is once again a matter of each steward’s choice, it is clear that control has been regained.

Communities became sedentary and much larger; identity became an issue to be constructed at individual, community and regional levels; spirituality became embedded and sometimes submerged in doctrinaire Protestant or Catholic religious beliefs and practices, but also continued, for some, to guide the morality of the hunt, and of the emerging political leadership.


Traditionally, Cree identity was just a “given” of being raised in an intimate family setting, and gradually growing into the larger world around them, naming themselves as they named other groups of Crees, often by their location on the land. It has been said that the Crees think of each person as distinctively formed by their particular life experiences. So it makes good sense to regard decisions and actions as “up to the individual”. This combination of groups named for some feature of their lands, and individuals viewed as distinctive unto themselves, leaves out a notion of cultural or ethnic identity. Identity was less a conscious issue than the maturing of each individual’s perspective on life, within the great spiritual community of persons, human and otherwise, portrayed in atiukanak narratives. They, like so many other Indigenous peoples, had a notion of themselves collectively as “The People” - Eeyou- in contrast to “strangers” and that was sufficient.

The late Albert Diamond, when he was a student at Trent University in the 1970’s, was in a discussion with a Mohawk student about Indian identity. The Mohawk was insistently telling him what identity was, and Albert would say, “No, that’s not it.” Finally, the Mohawk was ready to listen, and said, “Ok, then what is Indian identity?” Albert told me that he just looked at him for a few minutes, and then said, “That’s Indian identity.”

The complications set in when you have to argue for the meaning of your identity, negotiating to convince someone that you embody a distinctive history and culture. The big problem, in my opinion, is in convincing people to let go of their notion that culture is something shown in costumes, cuisine, and dances – at best an outward “life-style” that consists of a performance or appearance of what is inwardly a whole way of life and a world view – a whole morality. The view of culture as outward forms is a denial of culture – assuming that when the Indians dress like us, send their kids to school like us, and so on, then they are no longer Indians. It is a view based on the assumption that culture is visible to the naked eye, and so can be objectively understood and assessed in terms that are close to economic cost-benefit analysis. Government documents rely on costs and benefits to see what is feasible and this (for government) becomes what is real. I have found that even many of my academic colleagues are inclined to view the subjective side of life (and of culture) as a matter of “externalities”. This is a very difficult perception to correct, but it is absolutely important to do so. During the Cree challenge to the Baie James project, the 1973 court case before Justice Malouf included the testimony of many Cree hunters, and it became clear that there is more to culture than the external appearances. And in my opinion the best way to convince people of this is through direct conversation with individuals who embody another culture. Experiencing the moral integrity of individuals seems the most convincing argument that culture is not mere outward appearance.

Probably the biggest challenge to real Cree identity came with residential schools. What happens when you take children away from their families and raise them in residential school dormitories, maturing identity away from home, within a children’s cloister? The then-liberal goal of the church-run residential schools was to take the bush out of the Indian, by ensuring that children grew up as colonial people in a Christian institutional setting. What effect did this have for identity maturation? Certainly the students’ residence was a microcosm of the global modernity that was rapidly developing as people settled into northern communities. Certainly it frustrated the maturing of emotions that went with growing up “in the bush”, secure within the traditional personal, life-cycle community. Certainly there was significant language loss. And certainly the residential school experience varied a great deal with the individual child and the individual staff.

Residential schools were not only a cloistering of children away from family, environment and culture. They were also a place where some staff and some students were physically and emotionally abusive. Of course, there were also some very caring and dedicated staff, but their responsibility for so many children spread their nurturing pretty thin for any one child. Emotionally, the residential schools were a poor replacement for the child’s family, and some, but not all children grew up feeling abused or deprived. In June 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada, speaking for the entire nation, made a formal and public apology.

And for all the loneliness and deprivation of residential housing, children were normally returned to their families for the summer. They certainly did not learn much of the hunting skills that come with wintering in the bush, but they were re-immersed in the spiritually fundamental respect relations that are basic to family life. During the first weeks home, most experienced a difficult and reactive shift from the peer group relations of school and also from essentially bureaucratic relations with school and residence staff. These latter, bureaucratic relations – the school’s unintended and hidden curriculum - became the basis for the survival skills of negotiating with larger bureaucracies, i. e., governments and corporations, where hunting skills are transformed into political skills, as the quotes from Ted Moses will tell us in a few pages. These provide a sample of how Cree political ideology is mainly their spiritual ideology used in a Canadian modernist arena of political negotiation.

Consider that the Cree leadership that responded to the Baie James hydroelectric project, negotiated the first modern land claims agreement in Canada, and sustained the efforts to see the implementation of the spirit and intent of the Agreement, were mostly the first peer group “generation” of residential school graduates. That historic first cohort of fifteen secondary school graduates formed the leaders and managers that enabled the Crees to have negotiators in Canadian courts and boardrooms, administrators of their own government, and effective and widely respected political leaders (Wapachee 2010, pers. comm.). The timing was just right, with graduates in the late 1960’s, coincident with human rights movements, including “Red Power”, and the Baie James project starting in 1971.

The formation and maturation of their identity as Cree leaders was frustrated and delayed in the residential schools, but most crucially, it was not destroyed. The morality of respect, fortitude and hope that they have shown is, to me, very much a contemporary transformation of the hunters’ morality.

Transformations of Cree Spirituality

The spirituality of hunters was traditionally focused on the acts of preparation, tracking, hunting, and eating (Speck 1933) as the basis for sustaining life and thereby for autonomy, embedded first in a small number of relatives within which each child matured as an apprentice adult, watching and listening to those who were more experienced. The true locus of Cree personal autonomy was in this small-scale personal community, where practices of “reciprocity, resource-management, family-hunting territories, proper hunting conduct and acknowledgement of animal spirituality … embody Eeyou [Cree] ideas of respect, honor, wisdom, sharing, group solidarity, self-reliance, individualism, health, wellness and living responsibly” (Louttit 2005, 15).

Then, for the young adult man, his spirituality was gradually matured in mostly solitary practical action and intuition, much of it more of a tacit learning from experience and from the narratives of others. The goal of his action was to succeed in a relationship with the animals he was hunting. There was a mystical apprehension of what was not seen or known directly, and most of the experiential world was characterized by an underlying quality of contingency (R. Preston 2002, Chap. 8) or indeterminacy. But overall, there was normally more practical knowledge, intuition and action, than abstract metaphysics, in Cree spirituality. Young adult Cree women matured in a mostly social (rather than solitary) context of action and intuition, and as with the men, learning from the examples of others, whether personally observed or heard about from others. The goal of her action was to care for children and the home site, receive and process the food animals taken by her husband or that she herself hunted, and to support the social composure of the hunting group (for more depth in women’s roles and values, see the writings of Sarah J. Preston, especially 1986, Regina Flannery, especially 1995, and Ohmagari and Berkes 1997).

The animals on the land were literally “the ground of their being” – their very ability to exist. It was a world built on a small number of persons, only partly understood and only partly predictable. It was sometimes harsh, and people responded by focusing on hunting skills and by finding a way to sustain life in a stable community.

When Christian missionaries came they brought firm answers to questions about events that the Crees had not experienced – how the world was created, by whom it was run, what could be done to prevent misfortune and hardship, and what happened after death. Perhaps the Crees did not realize that the missionaries were basing their answers on faith rather than on direct experience, but in any event the Crees were interested and impressed. For the most part, the Crees were able to separate the uncharitable, dismissive judgments of individual missionaries from the wise teachings and mythic truths or ritual efficacies of the Bible, prayers, and hymns. Again, for the most part, the Crees sought what value they could find in, or behind, the words and actions of Europeans, whose ineptness in the bush would indicate that while they claimed great authority, they didn’t know everything. Things of value that blended especially well with Cree traditions included prayers and hymns that focused on hope for the animals’ gift of food, and baptism as spiritual protection from the threat of sorcery.

Rather than adopt one exclusive religious position, most Crees have tried to remain open to new ways, and to adapt them to suit their life experiences, and some of the old ways, fundamental beliefs and attitudes that went with hunting, may now be found expressed by the Crees’ political leaders. These leaders have the respect of the Cree electorate because the traditional qualities are evident as they speak, They have also gained the respect of many non-Crees, as they negotiate political relations with regional, Provincial, Federal and Global organizations.

The Indigenous peoples of the north are not the only, or the first peoples whose spirituality is transformed by a change of environment and culture. Indeed, the history of the Jews, Christians, and Islamic peoples give us many examples of such changes in environment and culture, as their respective religions have become increasingly encoded and hierarchically organized, replete with rules about what their believers should think, and do, but also conflicted with periods of radical doctrinal differences, separations, and fundamentalisms.

The transformations involved blending or replacing major domains of life experience and portions of the indigenous Cree, land-based spirituality that had developed in ways that were specific to the geography and ecology of that region, over thousands of years of hunting. These changes in experience and spirituality are a kind of de-territorialization. There are now some Crees who feel awkward when they go out on the land. At the same time, the processes of developing and maintaining personal autonomy have been substantially transformed, and have been complemented by developing and articulating political autonomy, at both community and regional levels. The Crees have long regarded their lands as crucial to their lives, and now have developed distinctive and successful strategies for strengthening political autonomy within the Canadian nation state.

Cree Spiritual Autonomy, Today

In the Cree communities, it is now realized by some of the elders that spiritual satisfaction and religious developments of any meaningful kind must be done by those within the communities, since outsiders, whatever their intentions, do not have the ability to do this work for others. This is, I believe, a call for post-missionary autonomy, in the development of spiritual communities. Each new religious perspective may ideally join into a kind of conversation of the spirit, where people adapt the old to the new and at the same time adapt the new into their present structure. What kind of Cree spiritual autonomy emerges from these encounters?

Religious adaptations are moving fast in some communities. It is now harder to find traces of the spirituality that was based in traditional hunting. The vast moral network of oral tradition is now mostly history. Communities that were staunchly Anglican in the mid-l970s are now about 50 percent Pentecostal. In one town to the south of James Bay, the music of a Pentecostal service has been joined by the big pow wow drum -- a new inclusion, and yet another case of blending of religions, comparable to the blending of Christian religion with bush spirituality. The conversation of spiritualities continues.

Politically, the future of the Eastern Cree is much more secure than the future of their hunting spirituality. But perhaps there is an unexpected element of carry-over from hunting to politics. I find an underlying element of spirituality in some statements made by the political leaders, such as a speech on forgiveness given by the then-Grand Chief (of the Quebec Crees) Ted Moses. In a presentation made in October 2004, he speaks of “the duty of memory” in the task of “mending the past.” I would argue that the nature and scope of the vision he portrays is essentially spiritual, and we might usefully look for roots of this vision in traditional hunting spirituality. Certainly it is a spiritual perspective.

“The duty of memory”… is to manage the past so that “forgiveness and new beginnings” … are enabled … there is generally a need to go beyond commemorating the victims of grave offences of the past. In my view, some form of reparation or redress would most often be a necessary aspect of forgiveness. Although some things in the past can never be made right, every effort should be made to do so.

An apology, if sincere, can be an essential element if forgiveness is to be attained. It is also clear that apologies alone are generally inadequate. Apologies must be more than symbolic. There must also be a clear plan to positively alter the present and future of survivors of appalling human rights offences... to take us from a mindset of helplessness and despondence to real possibilities for forgiveness and new beginnings. It is also the latter approaches that can help create a lasting culture of peace, truth, and respect for human rights, as well as a genuine hope for the future. (Moses 2004)

A joint submission presented to then Prime Minister Tony Blair, by the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), endorsed by thirty other Indigenous organizations and NGOs, extended the theme of hope (GCCQ 2004). The particular semantics of hope in these two statements is, in my opinion, expressive of autonomy of the traditional hunter’s optimistic, collaborative type, more than of the modern oppositional political type.

The land is the physical and spiritual core that binds communities together. When indigenous peoples lose their land, they lose their language, their complex social and political systems, and their knowledge. At a deeper level traditions are eroded with their sacred beliefs. Although some may integrate and recover meaning to their lives, the removal of first peoples from their land can be likened to genocide in slow motion. (Moses 2004)

“People talk about surviving, even thriving, because they didn’t give up, because they had hope -- not because everything turned out the way they wanted. Hope is … interpret[ed] … very personally, not as some depersonalized reference to goals or expectations. Hope is not about naïve or excessive optimism. It is not solely about achievement. It is about not losing sight of the goodness of life even when it is not visible (Moses 2004, quoting Jevne 2004).


The overall picture for religion for the Crees of James Bay is rather similar to that of Canadian religion as a whole. The Pentecostal church has, in the past thirty years, taken about half of the congregations of the other Christian denominations, and seems to be still growing vigorously, in a moderate, more “Cree” and less exclusionary form than it had at the outset. The other denominations are gradually losing strength, in my estimation. But spirituality is not limited to religious denominations.

I propose that the political stance of Cree leaders has sometimes very effectively emphasized the distinctness of Cree lands and identity using the morality and principle of respect for Cree self-determination and other human rights. From a Cree perspective, this ideology includes spiritual as well as economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions. Some professionals in the area of Indigenous politics say that the Crees are at the leading edge of developments of this sort, most notably in their successful advocacy of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It appears to me that some aspects of hunting spirituality have been transformed, or carried forward, into ideology that succeeds in political negotiation as well as being recognized as spiritual by the Crees. Ted Moses’ statements are appealing to us because they reflect spiritual values that we, too, hold, perhaps from our roots in Christian mystical thought. They are appealing to the Cree electorate because he voices their distinct spiritual values, with political and practical effectiveness.

The hunters way of being (ehntohowatsiiwin) is still alive and a factor in how the Crees manage their politics (Brian Craik, personal communication). I believe that the Crees can succeed in contrast to some others who primarily rely on confronting governments. To a significant degree, this possibility exists because the Cree leaders negotiate using the spirit of hunter-trapper’s survival strategies ensuring the integrity of developed through discussion with governments, with legal protection, and with exclusionary, reactive, confrontational politics kept in reserve as the “worst scenario” alternative if negotiations prove to have been in bad faith, or fail for other reasons.

References cited

Cooper, John M. 1939. Is the Algonquian family hunting ground system pre-Columbian? American Anthropologist 41:66-90.

Flannery, Regina. 1995. Ellen Smallboy: Glimpses of a Cree woman’s life. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Flannery, Regina and Beth Chambers. 1986. John M. Cooper’s investigation of James Bay family hunting grounds, 1927-1934. Who Owns the Beaver? Northern Algonquian Land Tenure Reconsidered, ed. by Charles Bishop & Toby Morantz, pp. 108-144.

Gorst, Thomas. Journal, 1670-1675. Quoted in John Oldmixon, The British Empire in America, Volume II, 1708, reprinted in James B. Tyrrell, Toronto, The Champlain Society 1931:381-382.

Jevne, Ronna. 2004. “Magnifying hope; shrinking hopelessness”, in Commission on First Nations and Metis Peoples and Justice Reform, Submissions to the Commission, Final Report, vol. 2, (Saskatchewan 2004) Section 6, p. 6-1. [emphasis in the original]

Moses, Ted. 2004. Presentation by Grand Chief Ted Moses, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). Mending the past: Memory and the politics of foregiveness, Université du Québec à Montréal, 13-15 October.

__________2004. Presentation by Grand Chief Ted Moses, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). Towards a UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Injustices and Contradictions in the Positions of the United Kingdom. 10 September 2004.

Nute, Grace L. 1943. Caesars of the Wilderness. Appleton-Century.

Ohmagari, Kayo and Fikret Berkes 1997. Transmission of indigenous knowledge and bush skills among the Western James Bay Cree women of subarctic Canada. Human Ecology 25(2): 197-222.

Preston, Richard. 1981. East Main Cree. In, June Helm (editor) Volume 6. The Subarctic. Handbook of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution. 196-207.

_____________. 2002. Cree Narrative: Expressing the Personal Meanings of Events. 2nd ed. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Preston, Sarah J. 1986. Let the Past Go: A Life History Narrated by Alice Jacob. Canadian Ethnology Service Mercury Paper No. 104. Ottawa, National Museum of Man.

Speck, Frank G. 1933. Ethical attitudes of the Labrador Indians. American Anthropologist: 35 : 565-566.