Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Crees, North American aborigines, one of the three north-western Algonquian nations, the two others being the Salteaux and the Maskegons. They call themselves Neyowock ("Men") and Iyinuvoh ("People"), Cree being an English contraction of Kristeno, which derives through Knisteno from Kenistenovoh, the name applied to them by the Blackfeet. They formerly occupied a vast territory stretching from Manitoba to the Rocky mountains, partly prairie, partly forest, whence the Prairie Crees, hereditary foes of the Blackfeet, and the Forest Crees, scattered groups of fishers and hunters. Their Algonquin dialect, almost the same as that of the Maskegons, but differing greatly from that of the Salteaux, has been reduced to written form both by the French and English missionaries, and is said to be the simplest of all Algonquin tongues. Many now speak English and French, and at various dates since 1871 they have disposed of most of their hunting-grounds to the Canadian Government. The Maskegons (Muscaigos) are the so-called "Swampy Crees," who roam between Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay, as far north as the Churchill river, where they are conterminous with the Chippewayan Athabascans. The Salteaux domain lies between the Mouse and the Lower Saskatchewan rivers south and north. All are decreasing and gradually disappearing before the white settlers. (See A. Lacombe, Dictionnaire, etc., de la Langue des Cris, Montreal, 1874.)