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The Western Woods Cree: Anthropological Myth and Historical Reality

James G. E. Smith
American Ethnologist
Vol. 14, No. 3 (Aug., 1987), pp. 434-448
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/644951
Page Count: 15
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The Western Woods Cree: Anthropological Myth and Historical Reality
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Abstract

The Cree are believed to have been located east of Lake Winnipeg at the time of initial European contact. According to this belief, French and English guns gave them technological superiority over their neighbors to the west, permitting them to rapidly conquer the lands west to the Peace River. Accumulating archaeological, ethnological, historical, and linguistic evidence establishes Cree as the aboriginal inhabitants of the western region. The development of the ethnological myth and the historical reality are analyzed, and some theoretical implications suggested. [Cree, ethnohistory, culture change, cultural persistence, cultural ecology]

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