• The Blackfoot were a tribe of first nations people who roamed the northern prairies between Saskatchewan and Missouri. They are also called Blackfeet.

 

  • The Blackfoot were expert horseback riders, excellent buffalo hunters, and fierce warriors. They were feared by other Native American groups and were frequently at war with their neighbors, the Cree, Sioux, Crow, and other tribes. In times of war the three divisions united to defend their lands.

 

How did they get their name?

  • The name "Blackfoot" is thought to have been given to these people by the Europeans because of the colour of their clothing and the footwear that they wore.  Other people believe that the feet of the Blackfoot nations were said to be black from the ashes of the prairie fires.

Who were they?

  • The Blackfoot was made of three groups.  They were called the Siksika or Blackfoot proper, the Kainah or Bloods, and the Piegan or Piikuni. 

 

Where were they from?

  •  The Blackfoot territory ranged from the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta to Yellowstone River of Montana, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Cypress Hills on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The Blackfoot were a nomadic people.  This meant that they moved around from place to place in search of food.

 

Homes of the Blackfoot

  • The Blackfoot people lived in tipis which were easy to take apart and put back up.   The tribes were divided into several bands.   Each band was led by a chief. The bands met in the summer for social and religious ceremonies.

 

Men and Women

  • The men made weapons and hunted, the women did household chores, put the tipi up, and gathered wild plants for food.

 

Language

  • The Blackfoot people had three dialects.  That means that depending on the tribe, the language sounded different.  This included the Bloods, Peigan (Piikuni), and Siksika people.  Even though they all spoke Blackfoot, each tribe would have a difficult time understanding each other because the dialect was different.

Photographs

  • Visit this site to see some incredible photos of the Blackfoot people in from 1898.  They were taken by photographer F.A. Reinhart. 

 Take a close look at the people, how they were dressed, where they lived, and what their family looked like.  Do you think that they still live this way today?  How do you think that their way of life has changed?

http://www.omaha.lib.ne.us/transmiss/congress/gallery/inbl01.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Web Author: M. Speight

Last updated March 19, 2003

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