Cree Perspectives and Data Collection in Moose Factory, Ontario




Historical Background
Moose Factory, Ontario is a small, largely Cree inhabited island whose community is located on the southern tip of James Bay. The community has a population of 2,500 residents comprising Cree people (majority) and non-Cree (minority). Over two centuries, Moose Factory’s Cree history has included various relationships with foreign influences. These influences have included economic (fur trade/Hudson’s Bay Company), religious (Christianity/Catholic/Anglican Church), political (Canadian governments), and educational (residential school) activities with each party arriving with its own specific agenda. Consequently, Cree society as reflected in our community today is a complex, eclectic blend of these former relationships and processes that I might add are still ongoing in different expressions. Currently, Moose Factory is a unique, post-colonial community that is re-thinking its colonial past by transforming its religious beliefs, nation-building concepts, and educational philosophies attempting to integrate traditional Cree world-view with non-Cree pedagogy.

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