The Blackfoot or Siksika are portion of the larger Algonkian linguistic communication household. Together with allied and closely related peoples known as the North and South Peigan ( Piikuni ) every bit good as the Blood ( Kainah ) , they make up the Blackfoot Confederacy ( Niitsitapi: ‘original people ‘ ) . The Siksika appear to hold been the first of the larger Confederacy contacted by Europeans thereby imparting their name to the Confederacy.
The pre-contact population of the Siksika is estimated to hold been more than 10,000 persons. It is hard to determine from the post-contact record the population due to the application of Blackfoot to all the states within the Confederacy. Additionally, by 1780 when some of the first estimations were gathered, the fields states had been devastated by epidemics. Population estimations range from 4,200 people in 1823 to a low to 795 in 1909. In 1997 Indian and Northern Affairs Canada estimated the Siksika population consists of 4,849 persons.
Among the Siksika, authorities centered upon the set and its leader. Band leaders were chosen based on their ability to intercede differences between set, folk, state, and international groups. The place of set leader or head was non familial ; nonetheless it frequently passed within a male line due to chance and preparation. Once effectual leading ceased a new person was chosen by the community. Leaderships were besides expected to be successful in war and generous in administering goods. Most sets besides had ‘sub-chiefs ‘ or ‘headmen ‘ who formed a council that assisted the head in doing determinations. The personal businesss of the full Siksika state were governed by the collected set heads during the summer months. The caput of the state was normally drawn from the largest or most well-thought-of leader of a set. With the execution of the Canadian Indian Act in 1876, the Blackfoot came under civilisation policies that demanded the terminal of the old political system in favour of an elective system.
There is some argument about when the Blackfoot moved into their historic fatherland. Some bookmans suggest that the Siksika drifted onto the fields in the immediate precontact period while others, including Blackfoot seniors, argue that the move took topographic point long earlier contact. Regardless, prior to the acceptance of the Equus caballus, the Blackfoot used Canis familiariss as their battalion animate beings and hunted American bison by utilizing leaps. Buffalo Jumps are of course happening drops, such as Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, where the American bison would be herded towards and so stampeded over the drop. Buffalo formed such an built-in portion of the civilization and nutrient wonts among the Blackfoot that it became known as the niA·taE”piowahsini or ‘real nutrient. ‘ After the acceptance of the Equus caballus, post-1700, Blackfoot civilization changed. While leaps continued to be used, runing American bison from horseback became the preferable method. The material civilization became more luxuriant, for case tipis became larger, winter herbage became a consideration thereby changing bivouacing sites, leisure clip besides appears to hold increased leting for a blossoming of spiritual and cosmetic humanistic disciplines. Wealth came to be measured in Equus caballuss and prestige drawn from foraies aimed at geting more Equus caballuss. Access to Equus caballuss and American bison herds every bit good as guns significantly increased the degree of force among all fields peoples of which the Blackfoot were no exclusion.
By the mid-19th century, the Blackfoot Confederacy was faced with turning force per unit areas on its lands and resources from incoming Euro-American colonists. This led to the first of a series of land resignations, get downing in 1855, in both Canada and the United States. However, the period from the1860s to the 1870s is one of prosperity as railwaies and steamers made the sale of American bison fells to the industrialising east really profitable. For case the Blackfoot were responsible for selling 40,000 fells in 1872. This prosperity came to an terminal with the prostration of the American bison, increased loss of land, and force per unit areas to populate on reserves. From the 1880s to the 1950s, the Siksika fell under the Canadian Act which at times sought to quash their spiritual, lingual, and political freedoms. However, the assimilationist efforts by the Canadian province were limited due to the comparative isolation of the modesty from white colonies every bit good as Blackfoot opposition.
Today the Blackfoot live on a modesty in cardinal Alberta, Canada. The beginnings of the English name Blackfoot or Blackfeet may deduce from the tribal name Siksika which slackly means ‘people with black pess. ‘ This name may mention to a manner of vesture or footwear or even to the colouring of the Siksika from the ash of prairie fires. The cardinal issues among the Blackfoot include the residential school inquiry, linguistic communication loss, instruction, and employment. Centuries old traditions continue to be in the community aboard modern enterprises in instruction and employment. Notably in the 1970s the University of Lethbridge established a Native Studies plan aimed chiefly at Blackfoot pupils while Mount Royal College in Calgary opened a campus on the modesty. In the 1990s the Siksika state established the Siksika Energy Resources Corporation ( SERC ) and the Siksika Resource Developments Limited ( SRDL ) in 1995 and 1997 severally. These corporations are designed to set up community control over its ain resources while supplying employment and gross for the state. A
K. S. HeleA
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