Search for "Blackfoot"

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Kainai (Blood)

The Kainai, also known as the Blood or Kainaiwa, are one of three nations comprising the Blackfoot Confederacy. (The other two include the Siksika and Piikani.) The Kainai have a land base of about 1,362 km2, bordered on all sides by the Oldman, St. Mary and Belly rivers in Alberta. According to the 2016 census, 1,000 people identified as having Kainai ancestry.

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Piikani

Piikani (Peigan, Pikuni, Piikuni) are one of the three nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy. (The other two are the Siksika and Kainai.) The Piikani once occupied a vast hunting ground which ranged along the foothills Rocky Mountain House to Heart Butte, Montana, and extended eastward onto the Plains. According to the Piikani Nation, there are about 3,600 registered members living and working both on and off their reserves located near Pincher Creek, Alberta.

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Siksika (Blackfoot)

The Siksika, also known as the Blackfoot (or Blackfeet in the United States), are one of the three nations that make up the Blackfoot Confederacy (the other two are the Piikani and Kainai). In the Blackfoot language, Siksika means “Blackfoot.” As of 2018, the Siksika registered population is 7,497, with 4,095 living on reserve in Alberta.

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Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located in southern Alberta, just north of the Canada-US border. To the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation), the site is known as Áísínai’pi, which means “it is pictured” or “it is written” in the Blackfoot language. The park features thousands of rock paintings and carvings created by the Siksikaitsitapi, most of which date to 1050 BCE. Established as a provincial park in 1957, Áísínai’pi was designated a National Historic Site in 2004, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

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Áísínai’pi (Writing-on-Stone)

Áísínai’pi is the location of thousands of rock art images in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta. In the Blackfoot language Áísínai’pi means “it is pictured” or “it is written.” Painted and carved onto sandstone cliffs, most of the art was created by the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Nation) around 1050 BCE. Taken together, these images represent the largest concentration of Indigenous rock art in the North American plains. Áísínai’pi was designated a National Historic Site in 2004, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

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Siksikáí’powahsin: Blackfoot Language

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). While there are some dialectal differences between these groups, speakers can generally understand one another. Blackfoot is an endangered language; since the 1960s, the number of new speakers has significantly decreased. The development of language programs and resources in Canada and the United States seek to preserve the language and promote it to new speakers.

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Blackfoot Confederacy

The Blackfoot Confederacy, sometimes referred to as the Blackfoot Nation or Siksikaitsitapi, is comprised of three Indigenous nations, the Kainai, Piikani and Siksika. People of the Blackfoot Nation refer to themselves as Niitsitapi, meaning “the real people,” a generic term for all Indigenous people, or Siksikaitsitapi, meaning “Blackfoot-speaking real people.” The Confederacy’s traditional territory spans parts of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as northern Montana. In the 2016 census, 22,490 people identified as having Blackfoot ancestry.