Originally, only one of the Niitsitapi tribes was called Blackfoot or Siksika. The name is said to have come from the color of the peoples’ moccasins, made of leather. They had typically dyed or painted the soles of their moccasins black.
Blackfeet (sometimes called Blackfoot). The people call themselves Niitsitapii, meaning “the real people.” The Crow name for the tribe was Siksika, which means “blackfeet people” and refers to their moccasin soles, which were darkened either by paint or by walking on charred prairie grasses.
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. The Blackfeet band now living on the Blackfeet Reservation are descendants of the Piegan branch of the Blackfeet.
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.
“Blackfoot” is the English translation of the word siksika, which means “black foot.” It refers to the dark colored moccasins the people wear. Some Blackfoot people are annoyed by the plural “Blackfeet,” which is obviously an anglicization.
Today, three Blackfoot First Nation band governments (the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations) reside in the Canadian province of Alberta, while the Blackfeet Nation is a federally recognized Native American tribe of Southern Piikani in Montana, United States.
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.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
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.
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.
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.
The Blackfeet Nation works hard to retain its culture in the modern era. Annual celebrations of Blackfeet culture include the North American Indian Days Celebration and The Heart Butte Indian Days, featuring traditional dancing, singing, drumming, stick games, and rodeos.
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).