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The Blackfoot Nation, Siksika Tribe

The Blackfoot are a confederacy of Native Americans. Blackfoot is the English translation for “siksika”.

This word came from the name of the dark coloured shoes they wore.

Siksika Nation Logo

The Blackfoot lived in the northern Plains originally, before the settlers came. These areas are Montana, Idaho and Alberta in Canada.

This is where some Blackfoot people live today because it is where the Blackfoot reservations are.

Two Members Of The Siksika Nation From Southern Alberta And A Local Non Aboriginal Supporter In Ottawa

The Blackfoot are in groups called bands. There are three bands in Canada and one in the United States.

Blackfeet Indian Reservation Locator Map In Montana

In Canada, the Blackfoot groups, or bands, are called Piikani (or Peigan), the Kainai and the Siksika. The American band are called the Blackfoot.

All of these bands speak the same language but they all have their own political units.

This means that they have their own government, laws and police. They govern their own small countries. The land they live on are called reservations (in the U.S.) or reserves in Canada.

Northern Boundary Of The Blackfeet Nation Indian Sign

There are around 25,000 Blackfoot citizens. Just under half live in the United States and the rest live in Canada.

The Blackfoot confederacy call themselves the Children of the Plains.

Their original territory stretched all the way from the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta and to the Yellowstone River in the state of Montana.

Before the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, there was no border between America and Canada.

Henry Farney Chie Spotted Tail

Sacred sites

There are special places dotted around all of Blackfoot lands that are said to have been given to them by their creator.

There is Ninastako, which means Chief Mountain, Lini Ksiskom (Buffalo Spring), Table Mountain and Kai’skah’piiks (Porcupine Hills and Whale Back Ridge).

Chief Mountain

There are lots of stories, songs and tales that are all about this land, which is respected and treasured in Blackfoot culture.

A Vista In The Porcupine Mountains

In Blackfoot history, they have entered peace treaties with American and Canadian governments which came to their lands during the colonisation of the Americas.

These peace treaties were called Inaistsyi in Blackfoot language.

Creation myths

When societies describe the way in which they came into the world, these are called creation myths. The Blackfoot creation myths almost all mention someone called Napioa.

Napioa is also known as sun, Old man and Napi.

They say he created the earth with mud from a turtle’s mouth and then created men and women. Napioa also tamed the bison so people could hunt it.

It seems Napioa was responsible for all living creations, including people, animals and plants.

Hieronymus Bosch The Garden Of Earthly Delights The Exterior

Quiz

Where did the Blackfoot get their name?

How many Blackfoot citizens are there?

quiz-kids

Which two modern-day countries do the Blackfoot live in?

Name one sacred Blackfoot site.

How was Earth created, according to Blackfoot creation myths?

Native Americans

Singleshot Mountain In Glacier National Park Montana

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