The Blackfeet
Traditional Culture
  Since Time Immemorial
Homeland of the Blackfeet
All My Relations
Camp Life and Seasonal Round
Buffalo Hunt
Further Reading
References Cited

  Contemporary Culture
  Arts and Artists
Tribal Government
Tribal Colleges
Recommended Web Sites

  Relationship with U.S.
  Before the Long Knives
The Long Knives
Making Treaties
The Shrinking Reservation
References Cited


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Darrell Kipp speaks about traditional and modernist values.

Great Falls > Culture
Narcisse Blood, coordinator of Kainah studies at Red Crow Community College in Standoff, Alberta, speaks about the world of the Blackfeet, and the connectedness of all life.

In this Culture Section you will be introduced to the world of the Nitsitapi, also known as the Blackfeet People. If you slow down and absorb the stories, you will begin to understand a very different perspective on history and culture from the one taught in schools.

The stories of the Nitsitapi go back to a time when the people crossed a great ice sheet, when little horses still roamed the land. Put into this context of millennia, the Lewis and Clark crew were just one of many groups of white traders and explorers who came into contact with the Blackfeet not so many generations ago.

As you tour through the Culture section you will learn about the Aboriginal Culture before the arrival of the first white traders, about trade and travel, family life and the life of all things. Stories of the many changes that followed the arrival of traders and trappers, including the Long Knives, are told within "Relationships with Whites" in the U.S. section. Contemporary Culture, in the Native American section, will acquaint you with the Blackfeet tribes today.

We encourage you to think about the story from the point of view of the Blackfeet people. How did their lives change after the arrival of traders, trappers, missionaries, treaty commissioners and agents, miners, cattle ranchers, and the American military? Despite the devastation brought by these various groups, whether intentionally or due to uncontrollable circumstances, the Nitsitapi have survived.


Chief Mountain from the Alberta prairies

K. Lugthart photo

Nitsitapi, "Real People"

Band groupings, or tribes, of the Blackfoot Confederacy:

Siksika; Blackfoot proper

Kainah; Blood

Pikuni; North and South Piegans

(Images from Paul Raczka's WinterCount, 1979)
Background: Lewis & Clark 1806, adapted from Moulton, 1983