Exploring Cree narrative memory

Neal Garnet McLeod
Indigenous studies, University of Regina
June, 2005


The importance of oral history within the field of Indigenous Studies has received a great deal of attention in the last decade. I have deliberately entitled my work Exploring Cree Narrative Memory because it is the understanding of myself within a collective memory. The work examines: (1) the dynamics of narrative transmission within Cree culture, and (2) various Cree narratives from the time period of the 1870s to the present. Various elements are demonstrated: the open-ended nature of Cree narrative memory, the importance of nêhiyawi- itâpasinowin (worldview) in the interpretation of Cree history, and differences between Cree narrative accounts of various events such as Treaties and ê-mâyakamikahk (1885 Resistance) and those found within the work from the mainstream culture.