Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Cree / Origin

Article: Structure of the Nation

"Nehiyawak oma kiyanaw. We are the nehiyaw" We are Cree people. Exact body, Exact body of people. We are a spiritual people with sacred ceremonies, songs and language, all gifts of the Creator."

"It is said our early ancestors came from the east, but we have roamed the prairies for a long long time, much longer than our grandfathers and our great grand lathers can remember. Many people know us the prairie Cree. We are part of the great Plains Cree nation." The words are not new. Everyone except the very young had heard them before. They were part of the teachings, part of their proud heritage. We are Plains Cree. We are buffalo hunters. With the blessing of the Creator we live on Mother Earth, Kicho-okawimaw'.

This is our physical world. It is a good world, a world of plenty for the nehiyaw (Cree). The Creator gave us our life, our land which nurtures us and gives us growth. The number four is sacred. There are four main spirit helpers, four directions, four seasons,-four stages of life, childhood young adult and old age".

Five kinds of people made Kayas-longtime ago:
-yellow skinned
-black people
-white people
-red skinned that is where we come from.
- Brown skinned people, they to use to be.

It was back then before the great flood, that we the red skinned, were first given the earth to inhabit, it wasn't here where we now sit on Mother Earth, but on an island to the south east. The first human being was called manitou-yisin (God-like man).

Manitou-yisin strayed from being a perfect people and brought chaos upon themselves. They could talk to animals and animals had the ability to communicate with people. That was what finally gave them trouble. Pastahowin- (is something that was so wrong that there are severe consequences), was committed.

"That is not what the Creator had planned. He had given manito-yisin's descendants the freedom to choose, but they began to do things very differently. That was when the Creator destroyed everything. He had life destroyed".
"And again life began. This time the Creator planned the same thing would not happen a second time. It was then that he made asiskiwiyiniw, Earth man. The new people were like animals and yet they were humans."