This culture exists in both Canada and the U.S.A.
Location: Members of the Blackfoot Confederation presently live in
Montana, USA and Alberta, Canada. Their territory once
covered an areas from Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta to the
Yellowstone River, and from the Rocky Mountains to the
present day North Dakota border.
Language: the official language
is Pikuni, which belongs
to the Algonkian linguistic group
History: They Blackfoot Confederacy consists of
different tribes, the Pikuni/Peigan, North Peigan Pikuni,
Blood/Kainai, and Blackfoot/Siksika. The Blackfoot
migrated to their present territory from the northern
Great Lakes Region. They became nomadic buffalo hunters.
The Blackfoot were first introduced to horses in 1730
when the Shoshoni attacked them on horseback. After this, they
obtained through own horses through trade with the Flathead,
Kutenai and Nez Perce. They also traded buffalo hides
with settlers as far away as the east coast for many things,
but especially horses and guns.Some of the most important
items gained through these trades were horses and guns.
However, by the winter of 1884, the buffalo were nearly
extinct and many Blackfoot starved. They were forced to
depend upon the Indian Agency for food.
In 1870, one of the worse slaughters of Indians by
American troops occured, known as the Marias Massacre. On the
morning of Jan. 23, 200 Peigans were killed, most of them women,
children, and elderly. The Peigans were a friendly tribe,
not the hostile camp that the troops were supposed to
attack. However, the commander had permission to use
his judgment and attack the Peigans and punish them
for thingsthey may be guilty of in the past or future. After the
massacre, the troops left to find their real target, but it was
too late as the hostile tribe had moved.
Daily Life: The Blackfoot were a nomadic people
who followed the buffalo. The most important event of the year
was the Sundance Festival, or the MedicineLodge Ceremony,
which wascelebrated with other Plains Indians tribes.
An important religious area for the Blackfoot is the Badger-two
Medicine area. This area was lost in 1895 to the U.S.
government in a treaty which was poorly translated to
the Blackfoot Best Known Feature: Head-Smashed-In
is a hill site in southwestern Alberta. The Blackfoot used
it for hundreds of years. It is known as a very spiritual
place to the tribe. It hasbeen around for approximately 7,000 years.