Originally the Blackfeet lived in the Saskatchewan River Valley of Saskatchewan, Canada, and the upper plains of the United States. By 1850 the tribe had moved to the Rocky Mountains and Missouri River areas.
An important Algonquian confederacy of the northern plains, consisting of three subtribes, the Siksika proper or Blackfeet, the Kainah or Bloods, and the Piegan, the whole body being popularly known as Blackfeet. In close alliance with these are the Atsina and the Sarsi.
Historians believe the Blackfeet, forced out of their ancestral grounds in today’s upper Great Lakes region by white advancement, were one of the first Native American tribes to head West. Two other bands – the Bloods and the North Blackfeet – now reside on Canadian Indian preserves scattered throughout Alberta.
The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is home to the 17,321-member Blackfeet Nation, one of the 10 largest tribes in the United States. Established by treaty in 1855, the reservation is located in northwest Montana.
Origin of the Blackfeet name – “ Before the horse arrived in the 1730s French fur traders observed indigenous people who had walked through a prairie fire and called them pen wa, the French word for black foot, after observing the blackened bottoms of their moccasins. We are the people of the buffalo, Blackfoot people.”
Blackfoot, also called Blackfeet, North American Indian tribe composed of three closely related bands, the Piegan (officially spelled Peigan in Canada), or Piikuni; the Blood, or Kainah (also spelled Kainai, or Akainiwa); and the Siksika, or Blackfoot proper (often referred to as the Northern Blackfoot).
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.
Overview. The Blackfoot Confederacy is the collective name of three First Nations in Alberta and one Native American tribe in Montana. It is also speculated that “Blackfoot Cherokee” refers to a band of Cherokee that had black ancestry, most likely from the adoption of escaped slaves into their society.
(ˈblækˌfʊt ) noun. Word forms: plural -feet or -foot. a member of a group of Native American peoples formerly living in the northwestern Plains.
Siksikáí’powahsin (commonly referred to as the Blackfoot language) is an Algonquian language spoken by four Blackfoot nations: the Siksiká (Blackfoot), Aapátohsipikani (North Piikani), Aamsskáápipikani (South Piikani) and Kainai (Blood).
www.bia.gov/bia/ois/tgs/genealogy Publishes a downloadable Guide to Tracing Your Indian Ancestry. Has a vast online library, Tracing Native American Family Roots. www.ncai.org/tribal-directory Provides the online tribal directory where contact information for specific tribes can be found.
There are three branches of the Blackfeet peoples-the Northern Blackfeet (Siksika), the Blood and the Piegan or Pikuni. The tribe call themselves “Niitsitapi” (nee-itsee-TAH-peh) meaning “the real people.” The reservation’s economy is primarily agriculture based.
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.
The main food for the Blackfoot came from the bison. They hunted other animals when necessary such as deer, elk, and rabbits. The women gathered berries when they could. For the winter, they made a mixture called pemmican from dried bison meat, berries, and fat.
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has approved a per-capita payment in the amount of $75.00 to all tribal members.
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.