Blackfoot Chiefs in historic 16mm footage sign a land lease agreement with Fulton Petroleum circa 1926-1936. From You Tube.
During the nomadic period, the Siksika were buffalo hunters and warriors, their main enemies being the CREE and ASSINIBOINE. Their leading chief in the late 1700s was The Swan, who was succeeded by Gros Blanc. By the mid-19th century, Old Swan, Old Sun and Three Suns were the head chiefs, and they in turn were replaced by Old Sun Jr and CROWFOOT. Crowfoot was destined to become the great leader of the Nation, taking them successfully from a nomadic life to life on an INDIAN RESERVE.
In 1877 the Siksika signed Treaty No 7 and established a reserve at Blackfoot Crossing, east of Calgary. There they became farmers and ranchers, with some finding employment in their own coal mine. In 1912 and 1918 the Siksika gained a unique status when they sold about half their reserve for approximately $1.2 million, making them the richest nation in western Canada. They obtained new houses, regular interest payments and other services. However, the advantages were only temporary, for by the end of the Second World War their funds were expended and they had little to show for their wealth except a smaller reserve and some aging houses. Their population in 1996 was 4706 (up from 3500 in 1986).
Author HUGH A. DEMPSEY
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples
The website for the "Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples." Click on the links for feature articles about Canada's many multicultural communities, access to their extensive digital archives collection, learning modules, and much more. From "Multicultural Canada."
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
Canada’s First Nations
This extensive multimedia website profiles the history, culture, and language of Canada's First Nations peoples. Also examines the impact of European contact on First Nations communities. A joint project of the University of Calgary and Red Deer College.