The Blackfoot in the United States are officially known as the Blackfeet Nation, though the Blackfoot word siksika, from which the English name was translated, is not plural.
The Blackfoot, who are also called Blackfeet, Indians were originally a nomadic American Indian tribe that migrated from the Great Lakes region to the Northwestern United States. They lived in the Northern Great Plains, specifically in Montana and Idaho as well as Alberta Canada.
Typical of the Plains Indians in many aspects of their culture, the Blackfoot, also known as Blackfeet, were nomadic hunter-gatherers, living in teepees and subsisting primarily on buffalo and gathered vegetable foods.
Efforts by the U.S. government to end inter- tribal warfare began in 1855 with the treaty that gave the Blackfeet – and their allies the Gros Ventre – much of Montana east of the Northern Rocky Mountains. With a gradually shrinking territory and the disappearance of the bison, the Blackfeet became impoverished.
Today the only Blackfoot nation that can still be found within US boundaries is the Piegan, or Pikuni, which reside in Montana. The other three Blackfoot -speaking peoples and the Sarcee are located in Alberta. Together, the Blackfoot -speakers call themselves the Niitsítapi (the “Original People”).
It may be fashionable to play Indian now, but it was also trendy 125 years ago when people paid $5 apiece for falsified documents declaring them Native on the Dawes Rolls. These so-called five- dollar Indians paid government agents under the table in order to reap the benefits that came with having Indian blood.
Quahadis were the hardest, fiercest, least yielding component of a tribe that had long had the reputation as the most violent and warlike on the continent; if they ran low on water, they were known to drink the contents of a dead horse’s stomach, something even the toughest Texas Ranger would not do.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
The Blackfoot tribe had many enemies including Cree, the Assiniboin, the Sioux, the Crow, the Nez Perce, the Shoshone, the Flathead. But their biggest enemy was the white man who they called the Big Knives.
Blackfoot Religion and Ceremonies The Blackfoot religion was very complex. Their main god was the sun, but they also believed in a supernatural being named Napi, which means ‘Old Man. ‘ The Blackfoot tribe also had complicated beliefs about supernatural powers in connection with nature.
The Blackfoot lived to the south of the Red Deer River, and the Cree lived to the north. This angered the Cree so there was always a state of war between the two tribes. In about the year 1867, the Blackfoot had a young chief named Buffalo Child, and the Cree also had a young chief whose name was Little Bear.
1. A member of a Native American confederacy located on the northern Great Plains, composed of the Blackfoot, Blood, and Piegan tribes. Traditional Blackfoot life was based on nomadic buffalo hunting. 2. A member of the northernmost tribe of the Blackfoot confederacy, inhabiting central Alberta.
Under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Blackfeet became a federally – recognized tribe, with their own Constitution and By-Laws, approved and ratified in the fall of 1935.
The Sihásapa or Blackfoot Sioux are a division of the Lakota people, Titonwan, or Teton. Sihásapa is the Lakota word for ” Blackfoot “, whereas Siksiká has the same meaning in the Blackfoot language. The Sihásapa lived in the western Dakotas on the Great Plains, and consequently are among the Plains Indians.
Blackfeet: ( Hello ) Oki! (pronounced “oh-kee”); (go home), waahkayi.