The Native American Indians vs. The Cree
The US Native Americans and the Cree have similarities and differences when it comes to handling their land reserves and forest resources. However, through time, there had been significant changes in the way that the group of Indians treats their lands. First, there had been differences in terms of location. The Cree resided in the area bounded by the Hudson and James bay in the east and Alberta and the Great Slave Lake in the west. Their domain stretched across the Canadian prairies all the way into Montana, the Dakotas and Minnesota.
There ar two primary divisions of the Cree, The woodland Cree and the Plains Cree. Reservations are now the home of most of the Cree, the largest Indian tribe in Canada. The US Native Americans, on the other hand, are usually found in Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles California. Although there had been Indian reservations for the US Native Americans, some still stay at the mountains and trying to make use of the available resources such as vegetation and abundance of animals for hunt. However, due to this stay, some areas of forest were being “mismanaged”.
Though Indians are generally known for respecting the nature and the life of all living things, some of the practices that they needed for survival are becoming contradictory to what they are believing in. Also, while some are staying at the mountains, most of Native Americans have opted to settle at the plains. Indian reserves were allocated by the US Federal Government. These reserves are to be divided equally to the Indian tribes. However, there had been reports to the Bureau of Indian Affairs that there is corruption on the part of the Indians in terms of the land distribution.
Hunting and fishing is the prime source of food for both tribes, supplemented by the gathering of wild flora. They also grow crops in the plains and in the mountains. The US Native Americans utilized the mountains by modifying vegetation areas and through burning of bushes for the game. The Cree were able to live through buffalo skin tipis and wandered through birch bark canoes. They were also able to establish a very successful fur trade with the English and the French. They are also imposing a limitation on the number of timber that is to be cut. Due to this, the Cree began an expansion campaign during the 17th and 18th century.
Until now, Cree Nations are trying to protect these territories, in alignment with the treaties that were agreed upon by the Canadian Government and the Cree Council many years ago. One area of contention between the two is the Cross Lake. The lake accommodates the Manitoba Hydro Power Company which utilizes the rivers into producing electricity. The Pimicikamak Cree Nation at Cross Lake actively opposes this act, which produces ecological damage in their reservation. Their efforts have met with increasingly effective results due to the sophistication of their methods.
Perhaps the main difference with the Native Americans and the Cree is their stand on utilizing and protecting their environmental resources. While both are still trying to protect their lands, there seems a difference on how they are trying to do it. Though the Native Americans are wary about their ecosystem and their environment, they seem to be forgetting about their past and cultural heritages as they are becoming more adaptive to a modern way of life. The Cree is protecting their lands in accordance with the belief that it is their only means of relatedness and survival, as what was stilled upon them by their ancestors.
Perhaps to settle these differences, they must learn lessons from the cases of each other. They must learn how to be modern and still keep their identities intact. Changes are inevitable and so it is appropriate for them to ensure that these changes would not be detrimental on their people, their culture, their development and especially their environment.
ANDERSON, M. K. & MORATO, M. J. Native American Land-Use Practices and Ecological Impacts. COUSINS, E. Mountains Made Alive: Native Americans Relationship with Native Lands. Association for Religion & Intellectual Life SWARTZ, A. Cree. Minnesota State University.Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org