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The Republic of Nehiyawewin, Cree Republic, Cree, Creeland, Nehiyawewinland, is a large democratic republic in Northwest Leifia. It is bordered by Lingit Aaní, Keewatin Territory, Ojibwe, Nakotaland, Haanininland, Nitawahsinnanni and the Klallam Federation. The capital is Saskwaton and the population is around half a million.
The Head of State is President Mamihkiyin.
The official language is Nehiyawewin, or Western Cree as it is normally rendered elsewhere.
The currency is the Cree Soniyaw (CSW) which is pegged to the Vinlandic Krona.
The name 'Cree' is believed to have come from the Algonquin and Ojibwe name for the numerous related tribes to their north. Whereas the Cree Atikamekw seem to have got their own way with naming the remainder of the Western Cree tribes were generally simply all called Cree by the early Vinlandic explorers. The official name of the Cree Republic is the Republic of Nehiyawewin but this name is very rarely used officially outside of the country.
As Vinlandic explorers (such as Hjortur Elvarsson) pushed their way westwards in the late 1200s they would frequently come across the tribes the Algonquin called Cree. This was especially true as they made their way up the Kisiskaciwani River and would often pay for Cree scouts to help forge new routes. By the early 1300s once a firm route from the Fraeburt Votnum to the Roasjoinn had been established a small but valuable trade was established with much of the route through Cree territory. Unpopulated themselves, the Vinlanders were happy to see the local tribes build friendly river trading outposts both as lodgings and markets.
This came hand in hand with the spread of settled agriculture and, unfortunately, disease, which helped foster a dependency on the river trade and a semi-feudal society surrounding the trading forts. Eventually by the mid-1400s the Cree part of the trade route came under the aegis of the chiefs of Saskwaton. Though this was not a conquest, more of a natural extension of the age-old tribal structure. The tribes had always employed 'peace-chiefs' to complement the 'war-chiefs' and now the Peace-Chief of Saskwaton was effectively recognised as ruler of all the various trading outposts.
The Eastern Cree tribes were slowly conquered, unwittingly killed off by the spread of disease (especially in Vinlandic Markland), or peacefully integrated into Algonquinland. Cree Atikamekwia retained its independence through various treaties with Vinland. The Cree government around Saskwaton meanwhile only claimed the river basin allowing various Vinlandic fur trappers to lay claim to a broad swathe of largely empty territory to the north and east which would coalesce eventually into Keewatin Territory. Various Cree tribes are recognised as minorities in Keewatin.
Despite the continued success of the trade routes (and Saskwaton's efforts to keep the route free from raiders and piracy) the Cree state has remained largely outside of the main ebb and flow of Leifian politics. The Lakota, whom spent a century building a considerable empire on the plains did not appear to think it worth conquering and there were only minor skirmishes on the assumed frontiers. The Cree found the successor kingdoms of Nakotaland and Haanininland much more troublesome and it would not be until the end of the Vinlandic-Nitawahsinn War (1843) that frontiers were finally settled. This nebulous frontier probably did not help during the Second Mexic-Leifian War (1774-1792) in which Saskwaton and other towns were occupied by Mexic troops, in that it was often noted the Cree militia spent more of its time fighting the Nitawahsinn and Haaninin for forts than the Mexic. The Mexic were not used to winter warfare however and their occupation was fiercely resisted.
With the trade routes in slow decline anyway, the Republic avoided much of the sudden shocks of the Leifian Crisis but prosperity is still dependent on exports to the growing economies of the west and east coasts.
The southern half of the country has a mild climate and rich soils which has led to extensive farmlands The northern half of the country is mostly forest with small-scale mining operations and logging important. The Republic has one of Leifia's highest birthrates with families actively encouraged to have as large a family as possible. The government hopes a population boom will allow it to fully exploit its natural riches but critics suggest it will be unsustainable.
The Cree Republic is governed by a large single-chambered council, elected on a broad franchise. The title of Peace-Chief has become the more modern 'president'. Elections for president and the council are held every five years. Presidents may not serve more than one consecutive term.
The current president is Mamihkiyin.