Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Richard J. Preston
This thesis is based upon ethnographic and archival research relating to the Crees of Red Earth in east central Saskatchewan. Ethnographic research was conducted at the Red Earth reserves for about a year, mainly in 1971 and 1972. Archival research was carried out at the Public Archives of Manitoba, utilizing documents of the Hudson's Bay Company and the Anglican Missionary Society.
This research has been basically historical in orientation and directed towards obtaining information on the changing subsistence-settlement patterns and social organization of the Crees of the Red Earth region since about 1860. Culturally, the Red Earth people are Plains Crees, originally affiliated with those who centred their yearly activities about Ft. a la Corne, Saskatchewan. Of particular interest is the cultural and social affiliation of the Red Earth people with the Shoal Lake Crees, a Swampy Cree group who formed one segment of the large Indian group attached to The Pas, Manitoba.
A major theme of this thesis is the development of a high degree of in-marriage between the Red Earth and Shoal Lake Crees and the formation of an in-marrying group which is here termed the "deme" or "marriage isolate". It is postulated that the marriage isolate is a social form characteristic of hunter-gatherer society throughout the world and that it was present among Northern Algonkians in the early contact period (and, therefore, also in pre-contact times). Due to the environmental instability of the boreal forest, disruptions due to contact (introduced diseases, fur trade vicissitudes) and contemporary government policies, it appears that Northern Algonkian demes have been in a recurrent state of disruption and re-formation throughout the contact period.
Meyer, David Alexander, "The Red Earth Crees and the Marriage Isolate, 1860-1960" (1982). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1632.