The 18th and 19th century Cree landscape of west central Saskatchewan : implications for archaeology
Dargin, Wade Leslie
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The eighteenth and nineteenth century Crees of west central Saskatchewan are the focus of this thesis. This research has involved obtaining information relating to the cultural landscape of these Crees for the period encompassed by the study. An examination of one aspect of this cultural landscape, the named landscape, has been the primary aim of this research. Information regarding the named landscape of these Crees was obtained from relevant historic documents and ethnographic research. A number of historic documents have been consulted in this study. In particular, much use has been made of the journal accounts of Hudson's Bay Company traders who travelled to the study region in the mid 1700s. Ethnographic fieldwork was undertaken with elders from several of the study region's Cree communities who provided information on the traditional named landscape. The relationship that existed historically between the Crees of west central Saskatchewan and their landscape is the subject of this thesis. How this information relates to archaeological interpretations in the study region has also been considered. Guiding this research has been an approach which considers the cultural landscape as representing a socially construed space. An examination of named localities from the study area indicates that the named landscape of the region's Crees did not significantly change over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This suggests that the relationship of these Crees to their landscape, how they conceptualized, structured and organized this environment, also remained largely unchanged throughout this period.