Cultural Optimality, A Study of the Rise and Decline of the Cree Culture of North Eastern Ontario .A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Canadian Studies of Carleton University In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts By Donald E . Pugh .May, 1972 .
Although contact between a western civilization and a primitive culture often leads to the disintegration of the latter, the culture of the Swampy Cree of the Moose River drainage basin appears to have reached its optimal period or cultural climax during the fur trade from their contact with European technology . A complementary perception of the resources of the region permitted a symbiotic division of labour by each culture which strengthened and materially benefited the other without a loss in cultural identity . Cultural disintegration for the. Cree only occurred in the twentieth century when the European culture altered its goals and relationship to the land and introduced a cultural clash through encroachment on Cree hunting grounds, the imposition of European laws, and the suppression of native Cree customs and practices .