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Blackfoot

Blackfoot, a closely related confederacy of Native American
tribes of Algonquian linguistic stock, who roamed the northern
Plains region between the upper Missouri and Saskatchewan
rivers. The confederacy is also called the Blackfoot Nation, and
the tribes may individually identify themselves as Blackfeet. The
southern Piegan of Montana are officially known as the
Blackfeet.

The Blackfoot consist of three distinct divisions: the Siksika,
which in English means Blackfoot; the Kainah (Kainaiwa in the
native language) or Blood; and the Piegan (Piikani in the native
language). The name Blackfoot is likely derived from the groups'
tradition of using ashes to stain their moccasins. Blood refers to
the practice of dyeing faces and objects with red ochre.
Originally from Saskatchewan, in the mid-18th century they
drifted into the Montana area in search of buffalo. By the
mid-19th century, at the peak of their power, they controlled a
vast territory.

The Blackfoot were expert horseback riders, noted 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.

The Blackfoot were a nomadic group, living in tepees in easily
dismantled villages. Blackfoot tribes were divided into several
bands, each led by a chief. The bands assembled in summer for
social and religious ceremonies. Except for growing tobacco, the
Blackfoot did no farming; their culture and economy were thus
essentially typical of those of the Plains tribes. While the men
made weapons and hunted, the women did household chores
and gathered wild plants for food. The Blackfoot practiced
polygamy; a prosperous warrior might have several wives.

Language Word Samples

Innaihsi'iyi = Peace

Okee napee = Hi! Friend

Nitsíniiyi'taki = Thank You

Áa = Yes

Saa = No

Oki = Hello

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