The term Cree was originally a designation for a group of Indigenous peoples living near James Bay, on the southern end of Hudson's Bay in Ontario. Cree however is an English spelling of a large collective group that spans from Quebec to Alberta and many Cree communities have individual names for their local areas, communities and nations. There are three major dialect divisions in the Cree dialect of the Algonquin language, Plains Cree or nēhiyawēwin (mainly Alberta and Saskatchewan), Woodland Cree or Sakāwithiniwak (Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and Swampy Cree or Maskekon or Omaškêkowak which can be found in Manitoba, Northeastern Saskatchewan and Ontario. 1

[Below, until * was added by Wyatt Schiefelbein based on teachings he has recieved as a Metis person learning Y-dialect Cree]
Cree peoples have two orthographies which are used to spell words in their language. These orthographies are referred to as Roman Orthography (which comes from outside of Cree culture), and Syllabics (which comes from within Cree culture).

For y-dialect, the name for Cree people is:

ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ - nehiyaw

The first word is written in syllabry, and translates into roman orthography (the second word). Each symbol represents a consonant and a vowel pair.


The University of Victoria's Art Collection has two trade pipes that are attributed to the Cree, two works by Cree artist Rocky Fiddler, and two stone sculptures by Cree artist Stewart Steinhauer.

Above References:

1 The Canadian Encyclopedia
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