The Piikuni First Nation is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The Piikuni Reserve is located near Pincher Creek in southern Alberta. From You Tube.
Because of the communities' large size, the Piikuni eventually divided into two bands, although they often travelled together and were so intermingled that a clear division was impossible. The population of the two groups ranged between 3000 and 5000 persons, reaching a low of 2500 after the 1837 smallpox epidemic. In 1870 the population of the southern Band was 3240 and the northern Band 720. The Piikuni (Peigan) were a nomadic, buffalo-hunting Nation with complex religious and warrior societies. Their enemies included the Crow, Shoshoni, Nez Percé, DAKOTA and ASSINIBOINE Aboriginal people.
In 1855 the Piikuni were prominent signers of a treaty with the Americans, but by 1877 the southern group had already settled on a reservation in Montana, so only the northern Aboriginal group signed Treaty No 7 with the Canadian government. They selected a reserve near Pincher Creek, Alberta. In later years the southern Aboriginal group adopted the official title of Blackfeet Indians of Montana, and those in Canada simply called themselves Piikuni (Peigan).
Their reserve provides some opportunities for farming and ranching, although the band has faced the common problems of integration and disruption of their social and cultural life (see INDIAN RESERVE). Efforts have been made to establish small industries on the reserve, and many Piikuni have sought employment away from the area. The population of the Piikuni Nation in Canada grew from 2907 in 1996 to 3585 registered persons in 2012.
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.
See an image of a Blackfoot design that appears in the Quilt of Belonging art project.
Canadian First Peoples
View portraits of First Nations historical figures at this Royal Ontario Museum website.