A Comparison of the Cree and the Iroquois
The Cree and the Iroquois have a lot in common. Both the Cree and the Iroquois have gone through the routine Native American problems of self-determination and land controls, yet the Cree, possibly because of their sheer numbers, have weathered these problems much better. The Cree language is one of the few North American languages likely to survive into the next century, while the Iroquois Indians have been much more assimilated into the American world.
The Iroquois Indians were a tribe headed primarily by the females in the group, yet they conquered many lands because of their extremely unified nature. The Cree Indians were a more nomadic group who had individual bands, each headed by a male chief. Although the Iroquois families were headed by women, they had a political council (handpicked by the women) comprised of 50 male sachems known as peace chiefs, while the Cree had less political organization and conquered lands strictly by being aggressive and warlike. The Iroquois tribes are a relatively small group, while the Cree Indian Nation is one of the largest. Possibly as a result of these great difference in their numbers, the Iroquois participated with the Europeans in political issues while the Cree integrated the French into their own society.
The original home of the Iroquois Indian was upstate New York, between the Adironack Mountains and Niagra Falls. They then migrated and conquered lands and gained control over most of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. In 1680 their lands extended west from the north shore of Chesapeake Bay through Kentucky to the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The American invasion of their homelands in 1779 sent many of the Iroquois into southern Ontario where they remain to this day, and today, roughly half of the Iroquois population lives in Canada.
The Iroquois are, arguably, the most important native group in our North American history. Their...
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