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Distributed for Purich Publishing

Cree Narrative Memory

From Treaties to Contemporary Times

Neal McLeod examines the history of the nêhiyawak (Cree People) of Western Canada from the massive upheavals of the 1870s and the reserve period to the vibrant cultural and political rebirth of contemporary times. Central to the text are the narratives of McLeod’s family, which give first hand examples of the tenacity and resiliency of the human spirit while providing a rubric for reinterpreting the history of Indigenous people, drawing on Cree worldviews and Cree narrative structures. In a readable style augmented with extensive use of the Cree language throughout, McLeod draws heavily on original research to examine on the Cree experience of the Canadian prairies.

144 pages | © 2007

Table of Contents


1: Cree Narrative Memory

wâhkôhtowin (Kinship) and Narrative Memory

The Reliability of Collective Narrative Memory

Toward a Notion of Spiritual History / âtayôhkêwina

2: Cree Narrative of Place


Other Important Places

Communication with the Landscape and Other Beings

Dreaming the World

3: Rethinking Treaty in the Spirit of mistahi-maskwa (Big Bear)

The Historical Context of Treaty Six

mistahi-maskwa and wîhkasko-kisêyin: Different Approaches to Treaty

4: kâ-miyikowisiyahk: What the Powers Have Given Us

mistahi-maskwa’s Resistance

The Spirit of mistahi-maskwa

5: Spatial and Spiritual Exile of the nêhiyawak (Cree People)

Dwelling in the Familiar


Spatial Exile

Spiritual Exile and the Residential Schools

6: Coming Home Through Stories

Playful and Humorous Treaty Stories


Coming Home

7: pîkahin okosisa: A Cree Story of Change

Historical Context of the Story

pîkahin okosisa: The Story

8: Embodied Memory: Contemporary Cree Political Identity

The League of Indians

The Creation of Modern Indigenous Institutions

9: Cree Narrative Imagination

Modernity and Colonialism: Dislocation from Collective Sound and Memory

Narrative Imagination: Bridging Past, Present, and Future through âtayôhkêwina

Indigenous Theory

Dialogue and Poetry: A Paradigm for Indigenous Theory

Appendix A: Cree Glossary

Appendix B: Neal McLeod’s Family Tree

Appendix C: Map of Local Cree Territory


Selected B

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