Learn about the history of the Blackfoot Indians.
The nation of Blackfoot Indians actually consists of four different tribes: the Blackfoot/Siksika, Blood/Kainai, Pikuni/Peigan, and North Peigan Pikuni tribes. Situated mostly in the Northwest United States and in Canada after migrating from the Great Lakes region, the Blackfoot Indians have a rich history and culture. Blackfoot Indians were legendary buffalo hunters, and lived a mostly nomadic life following the buffalo herds. Until the buffalo were nearly wiped out by unlimited hunting by white settlers, the Blackfoot Indians thrived on the buffalo and the land, and by trading buffalo hides and other goods with other Indian tribes.
After the near demise of the buffalo in the late 1800's, the Blackfoot Indians’ numbers were greatly decreased due to starvation and mass killing by American troops. Though a friendly tribe, the Blackfoot Indians were victims of an overzealous campaign to punish all Indians for the alleged offenses of a few warring tribes.
Despite the campaign against Indian tribes in the nineteenth century, the Blackfoot Indians are a strong tribe today, with a keen sense of their history and a respect for their honored traditions. Many Blackfoot Indian leaders hold seminars and conferences to teach younger tribe members about the old ways of the Blackfoot Indians to instill in them a sense of pride in their heritage and to give them a chance to learn about traditional Blackfoot Indian beliefs. These conferences, classes and seminars are also open to non-Indian people who would like to learn more about the history and culture of the Blackfoot Indians.
Some of the honored traditions and beliefs of the Blackfoot Indians include the belief that nobody is born evil, that truth and honesty are the basis of leading an honorable life, that all people deserve respect whatever their age or rank, and that a good sense of humor is essential if one wants to live life to the fullest. Words we should all live by!
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