Blackfoot

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Related to Blackfoot Confederacy: Piegan, Blackfoot Indians

Blackfoot,

Native North Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). They occupied in the early 19th cent. a large range of territory around the Upper Missouri (above the Yellowstone) and North Saskatchewan rivers W to the Rockies. Their name derives from the fact that they dyed their moccasins black. There were three main tribes—the Siksika, or Blackfoot proper; the Piegan; and the Kainah, or Blood. Although they did not form a unified political entity, they were united in defending their lands and in warfare. The Atsina (related to the Arapaho) and the Athapascan-speaking Sarsi were allied with the Blackfoot group. The Blackfoot were unremittingly hostile toward neighboring tribes and usually toward white men; intrusions upon Blackfoot lands were efficiently repelled. Prior to the mid-18th cent. they had moved into the N Great Plains area, acquired horses from southern tribes, and developed a nomadic Plains culture, largely dependent on the buffalo. Their only cultivated crop was tobacco, grown for ceremonial purposes. With the early coming of the white man, the Blackfoot gained wealth from the sale of beaver pelts, but the killing off of the buffalo and the near exhaustion of fur stocks brought them to near starvation. Presently the Blackfoot are mainly ranchers and farmers living on reservations in Montana and Alberta. They continue to a small degree the rich ceremonialism that earlier marked their religion; important rituals include the sun dance and the vision quest. In 1990 there were 38,000 Blackfoot in the United States and over 11,000 in Canada.

Bibliography

See J. C. Ewers, The Blackfeet: Raiders on the Northwestern Plains (1958, repr. 1967); H. A. Dempsey, Crowfoot, Chief of the Blackfeet (1972); M. McFee, Modern Blackfeet (1972); B. Nettl, Blackfoot Musical Thought (1989).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The Wildlife Conservation Society is working with the Blackfeet Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy through the Iinnii initiative "gradually implementing a strategy to get bison home to these lands," said Keith Aune, director of bison program for North America.
The three tribes of the Blackfoot confederacy -- the Piegan, the Blood and the Blackfoot -- do not eat the prairie turnip today, but Peacock says the plant's extensive roots in Blackfoot legend and language strongly suggest that it once ranked along with buffalo meat as a vital element in their diet.
Paul des Cris in 1865 (undoubtedly as a direct response to the Victoria mission), by the late 1860s, Lacombe and other Oblates increasingly turned their attention to a strategy of mission ambulant in which they travelled across the plains, following the buffalo hunting camps of the Plains Cree and Plains Metis, and increasingly pursuing connections with the bands of the Blackfoot Confederacy. (18)
In March, the First Nation in the Blackfoot Confederacy in southern Alberta declared a local state of emergency in response to 13 deaths over four months due to drug overdoses.
Toward this end, says Weasel Head, and in response to failed federal education legislation, the Blackfoot Nations of Piikani, Siksika, and Kainai have established the Blackfoot Confederacy Education Authority, drawn together through location, economics, similar culture and language.
Evidently it was a part of the navigational system of the people of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Maybe not to make the ultimate decision, but still there is the Blackfoot Confederacy and the ceremonialists of the Blackfoot Confederacy are the people empowered to speak about these things.
Those Treaties (which opposed the Dakota to the south) and later developments such as the opposition of the Metis in Manitoba and the Blackfoot Confederacy in Saskatchewan and Alberta to the Sioux over buffalo hunting territory were a principle reason for the creation of a northern plains culture and a Canada-U.S.
Read together, the chapters by Allan Pard, Jerry Potts, Frank Weasel Head, Herman Yellow Old Woman and Chris McHugh provide insight into how decisions and consensus are built (or at least managed) within each Blackfoot community and, more broadly, within the Blackfoot Confederacy. Contemporary Blackfoot Christian attitudes toward ceremonies as well as contemporary ceremonialist attitudes toward Christianity are raised by multiple contributors and illuminate the kinds of discussions that happen internally within communities as part of repatriation processes.
Watts is suggesting that the newly reopened Federal Building in Edmonton be named after Crowfoot, who was Grand Chief of the Blackfoot Confederacy. "Thanks to Crowfoot," writes Watts in an opinion piece that recently appeared in The Edmonton Journal, "Canada did not face an interracial war of the type that culminated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the U.S.
The Blackfoot Confederacy is experiencing a rebirth in their culture.
Elder's Vision: Blackfoot Confederacy. Canyon Records, C6505, 21 tracks, 70:47 min.