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Early Oji-Cree Multi-resident Structural Framing
Lens: HD 55-300 WR Camera: K-3 Photo Location: Mount Mckay - Thunder Bay ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/1000s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: honey bo bo, 07-31-2018, 06:17 AM

Covered for Frequent Pow-Wow's

Last edited by honey bo bo; 10-04-2018 at 06:07 AM.
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07-31-2018, 09:28 AM   #2
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Putting that together must be complicated - someone knowing what s/he is doing. They certainly picked an attractive setting for it.
07-31-2018, 09:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Putting that together must be complicated - someone knowing what s/he is doing. They certainly picked an attractive setting for it.
Pow wows used to have competitions to see who could put them up fastest. The winners were usually in the 10-11 minute range. I've helped a group get one up in a half hour.

That is actually not a oji-cree structure historically . That's a Sioux / plains Indian structure. But our Pow Wow grounds here in Algonquin has one. The traditional Oji-Cree Structure in the east,


The Oji-Cree elders I worked with preferred this type of structure. But the Plains teepee is very popular among more modern elders and on the pow-wow- circuit.

Of course the line is not in any way predictable. The Ojibway had land next to Sioux land, and the northern cree had land next to Blackffot land, so depending on the area, both Ojibway and Cree may display influence from the plains Indians.

That being said, I've met many Oji-Cree elders who would take exception to that being called an Oji -Cree structure. And I know local Cree elders who use a teepee for traditional teachings. Like most things native, it all depends on who you talk to. But the safe description of the teepee is plains Indian origin.All the Oji-Cree elders I know acknowledge the plains origins of the teepee, even though they may own one.

Last edited by normhead; 07-31-2018 at 06:07 PM.
07-31-2018, 10:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Covered for Frequent Pow-Wow's
Oji-Cree traditionally didn't use teepees because they were not suited to the Oji-Cree's environment. Teepees were traditionally covered with bison hides. There weren't enough moose or deer in Oji-Cree traditional lands to come up with enough hides to house everyone. Plains tribes used teepees because the hides and poles were portable, which enabled them to follow the bison during its seasonal migrations. Two poles were tied behind on the horse's back at the base of its neck and dragged by each horse with the hide attached to the poles behind the horse and their tools and other necessities transported on that hide (the whole set-up was called a travois by French Canadians). They had to bring the poles with them anyway since there were so few trees on the semi-arid Prairies. It would be impractical to use horses much less travois in Oji-Cree territory, which is dense forest, lakes, rivers, and peat bogs. No need to bring your poles with you anyway because of the abundance of trees.

07-31-2018, 03:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
They certainly picked an attractive setting for it.
Fort William Indian Band Reserve Ceremonial Area half way up Mount Mckay. View of the Sleeping Giant (Nanibijou) Thunder Bay Harbour & City of Thunder Bay. Great Neighbours sell us gas for $0.26 / litre cheaper than the Esso stations in the city.

---------- Post added 07-31-18 at 06:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Oji-Cree traditionally didn't use teepees because they were not suited to the Oji-Cree's environment. Teepees were traditionally covered with bison hides. There weren't enough moose or deer in Oji-Cree traditional lands to come up with enough hides to house everyone. Plains tribes used teepees because the hides and poles were portable, which enabled them to follow the bison during its seasonal migrations. Two poles were tied behind on the horse's back at the base of its neck and dragged by each horse with the hide attached to the poles behind the horse and their tools and other necessities transported on that hide (the whole set-up was called a travois by French Canadians). They had to bring the poles with them anyway since there were so few trees on the semi-arid Prairies. It would be impractical to use horses much less travois in Oji-Cree territory, which is dense forest, lakes, rivers, and peat bogs. No need to bring your poles with you anyway because of the abundance of trees.
QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Oji-Cree traditionally didn't use teepees because they were not suited to the Oji-Cree's environment.
You'll have to take that up with the FWIB

Last edited by honey bo bo; 10-04-2018 at 06:07 AM.
07-31-2018, 05:22 PM   #6
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I enjoyed this post more than any in recent memory . Thanks all posters for provoking some thought .
07-31-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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Great thread. A mix of great pictures and a great history lesson.
07-31-2018, 06:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Oji-Cree
The Fort William First Nation is probably more Ojibwa than Bush Cree depending on who you talk to. Of the Population of approx 1800 about half live on the reserve. The City of Thunder Bay has a much larger population of Oji-Cree from the First Nations Reserves to the North of us. They depend on the Bay for Health Care, Education, Judicial Services , Economies of all kinds incl : Energy, Logging , Mining ,Air Transport etc.

07-31-2018, 07:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
You'll have to take that up with the FWIB
Or they could take it up with the Parry Island band, who still use traditional Oji-Cree structures. I've done enough of the "taking it up with thing" with elders from many bands. The FWIB isn't in a position to tip the balance.

My own favourite elder was Cree from Saskatchewan and he didn't use a teepee. He used a structure like the one I posted as did the Parry Island band. But the structure erected at Pow-wow grounds are not necessarily traditional structures. Pow wows are heavily influenced by Sioux traditions, just because the sioux kept their traditions alive and other bands adopted their traditions, having lost contact with their own. There are places that have traditional ceremonies not based on Sioux traditions. Parry Island near Parry Sound and Wiki on Manitoulin island as well as many less documented bands that still have ceremonies other than pow-wow traditions intact. However the number of natives who converted to Christianity and not persecute native traditionalists means you won't know about them. Especially in Canada where it was against the law for natives to follow any of their sacred teachings until 1958, with hail being a frequent consequence of getting caught. Pow wows are social events open to all traditions and people, and what can be done is a lot looser. Although some things are common to all. Thee's always a huge due making sure the sacred fire isn't disrespected, no matter who's ceremony you go to.

For traditional ceremonies, Sweat Lodge, Changing Seasons Ceremonies, Fasts and Vision Quests, most bands stick religiously to their own traditions. You are unlikely to see a teepee at one of those Oji-Cree events, unless used for housing, not for the ceremony itself. I've only ever seen teepees at Pow-Wows, where you also see woodland dwelling Oji-Cree Dancers doing grass dances, when it would have been rare to need a grass dance anywhere but on the plains, and hoop dances which are definitely of plains origin. In essence the commercialization of Pow Wows in the 40's and 50's led to a commercial culture based on what Europeans thought natives should be doing, and what they looked like. Many of the traditionals I've met despise Pow Wow culture as a commercial bastardization of the original, traditional social gatherings. Many of the smaller bands still hold Pow Wows in the traditional form, no paid dancers, trading of goods without money and a great opportunity to receive visitors from other bands and mate seeking opportunities.

So it is most likely that your structure is associated with the Pow Wow grounds and only used when the Pow Wow circuit is in town.

Last edited by normhead; 07-31-2018 at 07:14 PM.
08-03-2018, 10:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Oji-Cree traditionally didn't use teepees because they were not suited to the Oji-Cree's environment.
Oh! Oh! Another one ! Red Rock Indian Band - Lake Helen Reserve Highway 11 & 17 Ojibway mostley
Looks like an Old Shell Station

Last edited by honey bo bo; 10-04-2018 at 06:08 AM.
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