Guide to Chippewa-Cree Indians ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.
|Regions with significant populations|
| Ancestral Homelands: |
Federally recognized since the 1890s as the Chippewa-Cree Tribe
not yet researched
not yet researched
|Other Related Ethnic Groups|
Alternate names: Ne Hiyawak
Chippewa Cree Tribe
RR1 Box 544
Box Elder, Mt. 59521
Phone: 1.406.395.4478 fax: 406.395.4497
Phone: 1.406.395.5705 fax: 1.406.395.5702
- Tribal Web Site for the Chippewa Cree Tribe
The Chippewa-Cree Indian Tribe is a single entity in today's world, but is a combination of portions of the Chippewa Tribe and the Cree Tribe.
The Chippewa or Ojibway Indians are one of the largest groups of American Indians in North America. There are nearly 150 different bands of Chippewa in the northern part of the United States and in southern Canada (especially inOntario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan). The ancestors of the Chippewa portion of the Chippewa-Cree migrated from the Turtle Mountain area of North Dakota in the late 1800's.
The Cree nation is the largest group in Canada. That tribe had two divisions; Woodland Cree and Plains Cree. A small portion of this very large First Nation in Canada migrated south out of Canada, into North Dakota and Montana, also in the late 1800's. With them came some of the Metis, descendants of Louis Riel.
These two groups of the Chippewa and the Cree united in the 1890's and looked for a permanent home. At various times, all or part of them lived placed under the jurisdiction of the Blackfeet, Flathead, and Fort Belknap Indian Agencies.
Under the Indian Reorganization Act, the Chippewa-Cree organized themselves under their Constitution and Bylaws as the Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana. Their Constitution was adopted in 1935 and amended in 1973.
Brief Time Line
- 1896: Congress appropriated funds to deport the Chippewas and Crees to Canada, and they were escorted across the border by U.S> troops. Legend has it that the Indians were back in Montana before their escorts returned
- 1916: The tribe assigned to Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana with the Plains Cree
- 1935: organized under the Indian Reorganization Act
- 1953: United States terminated its relationship with the sovereign nation of Chippewa, mandated by House Concurrent Resolution 108.
- 1968: The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded by three Ojibwa (Chippewa): Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, and Clyde Bellecourt
- 1973: Constitution and By-Laws of the tribe was amended.
Additional References to the History of the Tribes
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Chippewa-Cree for the time periods indicated. BIA agencies were responsible to keep such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.
The agencies which had jurisdiction over a major portion of the Chippewa-Cree in the United States were:
The following agencies may have had some records of Chippewa-Cree living among the Indians under their jurisdiction for the years indicated, until the Rocky Boy's Reservation was established..
The Bureau of Indian Affairs compiled annual Indian Census Rolls on many of the reservations from 1885 to 1940. They list the names of individuals, their age, and other details about each person enumerated. For more information about these records, click here.
The following lists the census rolls for the Chippewa-Cree Indians:
Rocky Boy's Agency; M595, Roll 426, 1919-1939; FHL Film: 581420
There are several sets of correspondence between the supervising offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the local offices -- agencies, subagencies, etc. The correspondence is often historical in nature, including reports of the conditions among local groups of Indians, hostilities, plans for building facilities, activities of traders or missionaries, etc. Occasionally, there will be names of individuals but little detail about them. For more information about American Indian correspondence, click here.
During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.
Tribal Office Records
The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.
Prior to the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their agencies, may have recorded some vital events. Some were recorded on health forms, such as the "Sanitary Record of Sick, Injured, Births, Deaths, etc." Others were recorded as supplements to the "Indian Census Rolls." Some were included in the unindexed reports and other correspondence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Some vital records for the Chippewa-Cree Indians include:
Rocky Boy's Agency, births and deaths, 1924-1939, M595, Roll 426, FHL Film 581420
- Constitution and By-Laws of the Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation Montana
- State Office of Indian Affairs article on the Chippewa-Cree Tribe
- Tribal Web Site for the Chippewa Cree Tribe
- Wikipedia article on the Chippewa-Cree Tribe
For Further Reading
For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.