Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Gregory R. Campbell

Commitee Members

Richard Sattler, Richmond L. Clow


Chippewa, Cree, Ethnogenesis, Ethnohistory, Landless Indians, Little Bear, Little Shell, Metis, Montana, Rocky Boy


University of Montana


This thesis examines the history of Montana’s Metis, Cree and Chippewa people as “landless Indians” in a twentieth century context. Landlessness among the Metis, Cree and Chippewa became a defining aspect of their identity by the twentieth century that distinguished them from both Indian and white people in the state. This paper discusses the historical processes by which the Metis, Cree and Chippewa became landless, and examines the unique aspects of their social and economic lives as landless Indian people. This paper concludes with an examination of the ethnogenesis of Metis, Cree and Chippewa, which was based upon patterns of merger between discrete multi-ethnic groups.



© Copyright 2007 Elizabeth Sperry