Blackfeet

Blackfeet


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I det 18. århundrede boede Blackfeet -stammen i dalen ved den nordlige Saskatchewan -flod. De jagtede bøfler til fods, indtil de fik deres første heste i omkring 1740. På dette tidspunkt fik de også deres første kanoner fra Hudson's Bay Company. Befolkningen blev drastisk ramt af kopperepidemier i 1781.

Den traditionelle fjende af Blackfeet var Shoshoni. Mellem 1785 og 1805 blev et stort antal af begge stammer dræbt i kampe om jagtområde

1806 medlemmer af Meriwether Lewis og William Clark -udstillingen stødte på Blackfeet ved krydset mellem Two Medicine River og Badger Creek. Kort tid efter anslog Alexander Henry, at der kun var 5.200 mennesker tilbage i stammen.

Maximilian, prins af Wiedneuwied og Karl Bodmer udforskede Blackfeet -landene i 1833. Bodmer, en talentfuld kunstner malede portrætterne af Blackfeet -ledere. Et par år senere blev de også malet af George Catlin.

I 1837 dræbte en anden koppe -epidemi næsten 6.000 Blackfeet. Dette var anslået to tredjedele af den samlede befolkning. Der var hændelser, hvor europæere blev dræbt af Blackfeet. De accepterede dog et besøg af Pierre-Jean De Smet. I 1845 sikrede han fred mellem dem med Flathead -stammen. Året efter gennemførte han den første katolske messe blandt Blackfeet.

Blackfeet -ledere indgik en traktat med den amerikanske regering i 1855. Dette forsøg på at udpege Blackfeet -jagtområde mislykkedes, da hvide nybyggere begyndte at tage jorden. Dette resulterede i Blackfeet -angreb på stagecoaches, ranches og forter.

I 1870 angreb amerikanske soldater han lejren for Heavy Runner. Over 200 Blackfeet blev dræbt under det, der blev kendt som massakren på Marias -floden. Blackfeet gav ikke gengældelse, og i 1888 blev de tilbage i live placeret på et 3.000 kvadratkilometer indisk reservat i det nordvestlige Montana (Sweetgrass Hills traktaten). I dag har reservationen en befolkning på omkring 8.500.

Blackfeet bor i lejre, og hver lejr har sin chef, der kontrollerer dens bevægelser. De har ingen landsbyer og rejser ikke noget korn af nogen art. De er strenge nomader, der flytter fra sted til sted og opholder sig ét sted, men kort tid. De har heste, og de følger spillet. Blackfeet har ingen klaner i de andre nationers forstand, da hver lejr består af mange loger og af personer, der ikke er i familie med blod. Det ser ud til, at prærieindianerne er blevet demoraliseret af deres hårde livsform og ved at blive tvunget tilbage, som de har været af vores fremadstormende løb ind i prærien, som indianeren aldrig kunne lide, og indtil han fik hesten, ikke kunne besætte. Blackfeet som Algonquins må oprindeligt have haft stammer.

Blandt Blackfeet hersker polygami, og også den samme skik at tildele alle søstrene til den, der gifter sig med den ældste, hvis han vælger at tage dem. Denne polygami siger de er en nødvendighed for, at sagen vokser ud af disproportionen mellem kønnene. Livet er langt i denne sundeste del af verden, og da mændene konstant falder i krig og i slagsmål og tab af enhver art, bliver kvinderne hurtigt de mest talrige, da dette middel bliver en slags nødvendighed for at genopbygge deres antal .


Elouise Pepion Cobell: Banker-Warrior

I 1996 blev bankmand Elouise Cobell den ledende sagsøger i en gruppesøgsmål, der krævede tilbagebetaling og bedre regnskab for individuelle indiske pengekonti, der blev administreret af BIA. Tretten år senere nøjedes den føderale regering med .4 milliarder, den største bosættelse i amerikansk historie. 2005 Foto af Robin Loznak /Great Falls Tribune

At fortælle en ung Blackfeet -kvinde, at hun “ikke var i stand” til at forstå grundlæggende regnskab, kan have været den mest latterlige ting, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) nogensinde har gjort. Kvinden var Elouise Pepion Cobell, kasserer for Blackfeet-stammen og grundlægger af den første amerikanske indiskejede nationale bank. Hun blev hovedanklager i Cobell v. Salazar, med succes sagsøgt indenrigsministeriet (DOI) og BIA på vegne af næsten en halv million amerikanske indianere for dårlig forvaltning af tillidsfonde.

Elouise Pepion Cobell voksede op i 1950'erne i et hjem uden elektricitet eller indendørs VVS. På tværs af Blackfeet-reservatet levede mange familier under lignende omstændigheder, på trods af eksistensen af ​​indkomstproducerende virksomheder som olie- og gasudvinding og ranching på jord tilhørende stammemedlemmer. Cobell spekulerede på, hvordan en sådan rentabel udvikling på indianernes landområder ikke kunne give dem en betydelig indkomst. Fortsæt med at læse Elouise Pepion Cobell: Banker-Warrior & rarr

Del dette:


MONTANA

Oplev Blackfeet Cultural History Tour med Darrell Norman, Ee-Nees-Too-Wah-See, et Blackfeet-stammemedlem, kendt kunstner og historiker. Hvem er Blackfeet -folkene, og hvor kommer de fra? Darrell gør Blackfeet historie og kultur levende med eksempler fra både moderne videnskab og Blackfeet mundtlig historie og traditioner.

Darrell vil ledsage dig i dit køretøj til betydningsfulde historiske steder i den sydlige del af Blackfeet -reservationen. Buffelspring, tipiringe (gamle campingpladser) og medicinhytter er blot nogle af de ting, du vil se. Du vil besøge det oprindelige websted for Badge Creek Agency og lære om den rolle, det spillede i Blackfeet -historien. Det er et uddannelsesmæssigt eventyr med indisk kultur, du aldrig vil glemme, hvor indianernes indianers historie bliver levende.

Turpriser:
1/2 dages tur 1 - 4 personer. $ 120
1/2 dages tur 5 - 10 personer. $ 30 pr. Person
1/2 dags tur 30 personer og mere. $ 300

Services og aktiviteter

Services

  • Bøger
  • Morgenmad
  • Aftensmad
  • Uddannelsesprogrammer
  • Gavebutik
  • Guide
  • Parkering
  • Tur

Aktiviteter

  • Fuglekiggeri
  • Camping
  • Kulturel
  • Kulturelle ture
  • Historie
  • Fotografering
  • Sightseeing
  • Dyrelivssyn

Særlige anvisninger

Blackfeet Cultural Tours er tilgængelige fra Lodgepole Gallery og Tipi Village, 2 1/4 miles vest for Browning på US Highway 89 og Durham Road. Kun 15 minutter fra Glacier National Park.


Blackfeet - Historie

EN KORT HISTORISK SKETS AF
SORTFØDE INDISK STAMME

ST. PAUL BOOK & amp STATIONERY CO.
ST. PAUL, MINN.
SÆLGES I DE FØRENDE BOGHANDLER

SORTFØDE INDIAN
UDDANNELSESPORTFOLIO

Denne usædvanlige pakke indeholder trofaste gengivelser i fuld farve af 24 berømte Blackfeet
Indiske malerier af Winold Reiss, og en genial beretning om Blackfeet -stammen skrevet
af afdøde Frank Bird Linderman.

Heldigvis for dem, der er interesseret i Plains Indianers historie, er
Blackfeet -reservation støder op til Glacier National Park i Montana og hver sommer
medlemmer af denne stolte stamlejr i Glacier Park. De er overordentlig imødekommende overfor
besøgende såvel som kunstnere og forfattere, der besøger parken med det formål at studere
Indisk liv og skikke.

Naturligvis modtages der rigtig mange henvendelser både i parken og reservationen,
for information og billeder. Kunststuderende, gymnasie- og universitetsstuderende, bibliotekarer,
lærere. mange, mange mennesker har sagt, at de gerne vil kende den virkelige historie om
Blackfeet -stammen. Denne pakke er designet til at opfylde disse krav. Brochuren af
Mr. Linderman fortæller den sande historie om Blackfeet, mens billederne af Mr. Reiss

Da bøflen forsvandt fra sletterne, stod Blackfeet -stammen over for sult.
Så i 1887 købte USA's regering en del af deres bjergområder for
$ 1.500.000, betales i rater på $ 150.000 om året i ti år. Med en del af
disse penge købte indianerne kvæg, som de græssede på deres prærieområder. I 1895-96
de solgte flere af deres bjerge til den amerikanske regering, og disse takkede
toppe i god tid blev en del af en nationalpark ved etableringen i 1910 af
Glacier National Park.

I mellemtiden fortsatte Blackfeet med at leve på deres reservation øst for Glacier
Parkere. Nu er de ranchere og landmænd, der ser vestpå ved solnedgang mod Shining
Bjerge af deres forfædre. De er uddannede og er borgere i USA
men de sætter en ære i at holde de gamle skikke i stammeråd, danse og
ceremonier.

På grund af sit venskab med indianerne har Great Northern Railway samlet
og udgav dette materiale, nu herved dedikeret til alle dem, der er interesseret i
Glacier Park og den nærliggende Blackfeet.

(c) Great Northern Railway
Trykt i U.S.A.
1940

SORTFØD! Intet stamnavn forekommer oftere i historien om
Nordvestlige sletter ingen andre er så uudsletteligt skrevet ind i de magre
optegnelser over den tidlige pelshandel ved den øvre Missouri-flod, og ingen nogensinde
inspireret mere frygt i hvide sletter. Helvede-port* var ikke så navngivet
fordi vandet der var voldsomt vildt, eller bjergstien svær, men fordi
vejen førte fra ro til ballade, til landene i den fjendtlige Blackfeet.

*I nærheden af ​​Missoula, Montana. Port gennem Rockies til sletterne.

De tre stammer i Blackfeet -nationen, Pecunnies (Piegans), Bloods og
Blackfeet, er et folk. De taler et fælles sprog og praktiserer det samme
skikke. For længe siden, sandsynligvis mere end to hundrede år, var Blackfeet en
tømmerfolk, der bor i skovene nær Lesser Slave lake. Uophørlig krig tvunget
på dem af de magtfulde Chippewas (Ojibwas) skubbede dem støt mod syd
indtil de nåede de brede sletter, der grænser op til Rocky Mountains i det, der er nu
Montana. Her fandt de store flokke af fedtbøffel, elg og antilope, en udtømmelig overflod, de aldrig havde kendt og her, efter at have kørt slangerne, og
sandsynligvis Flatheads, Kootenais og Nez Perces, fra de rigelige græsarealer
til de smalle dale vest for Rockies, slog Blackfeets tre stammer sig ned
at blive slettemænd. Ingen kan fortælle deres tal, da de kom ud af
nord. Gamle Pecunnie -krigere har fortalt mig, at deres stamme engang tællede 750 loger,
sandsynligvis mindre end 4000 mennesker, og vi ved, at af de tre stammer i Blackfeet -nationen var Pecunnie den mest talrige.

Alt dette skete, før Blackfeet havde heste. Hunde havde altid transporteret
deres varer. Nu, for at stjæle heste, varierede deres raiding -partier over det endeløse
græsarealer langt mod syd, siger gamle krigere selv ind i de spanske besiddelser.
Ofte var disse raiders fraværende i to år, og de havde næsten altid succes.

Deres ponybånd voksede, indtil mænd målte deres rigdom i heste. Kød, deres
hovedfødevarer blev let opnået, og alligevel tillod disse mennesker ikke livet at trække,
eller blive forældet. Krig og hestetyveri var deres uendelige spil og desuden
med den nødvendige spænding og eventyr holdt de hver mand konstant
uddannelse, da et vellykket angreb sikkert ville bringe forsøg på gengældelse. At blive nævnt af sine stammefolk som en stor kriger eller en snedig hestetyv, var den højeste
ambitionen om en sletten indianer og Blackfeet var mesterhænder på begge disse
farlige hobbyer. Da de endelig opnåede ildvåben, blev de plage
af de nordvestlige sletter, der gør krav på hele landet, der ligger nord for Yellowstone
flod til Saskatchewan. I statur er de i gennemsnit højere end mændene i
nabostammer, der har tynde, velformede næser og intelligente ansigter. Ligesom den anden
stammefolk i de store græsarealer var de naturligvis et dybt religiøst folk og
ligesom alle sletterne indianere var de naturligvis muntre, kærlige spøg og latter når
ikke i nærværelse af fremmede.

Selvom Blackfeet muligvis har bragt deres sociale skikke fra det nordlige
skove, adskilte de sig ikke meget fra de andre slettefolk. Hver af de
tre stammer blev opdelt i klaner eller slægtninge i blodet i den mandlige linje, der
at være i Blackfeet-nationen måske halvtreds sådanne klaner kendt som Black-Elks, Lone-
Fighters, Fat Roasters, White-Breasts, etc. En mand var ikke tilladt efter stammelov
at gifte sig med en kvinde, der tilhørte hans egen klan, og børnene i enhver fagforening tilhørte
altid til deres mors klan. Unge kvinder var tæt bevogtet. Der
var lidt frieri. Ægteskaber blev arrangeret af forældre, med samtykke fra nær
relationer. Og alligevel blev der, når det var muligt, taget hensyn til de unges ønsker.

Ikke desto mindre afgjorde faderen til en ung kvinde endelig spørgsmålet om
ægteskab for sin datter, og der var mange ting, som en far skal overveje
ved at træffe denne beslutning. Han skal tænke på den unge mands avl, prestige og
hans magt til ordentligt at forsørge en familie. Det må han ikke glemme ved at give sin
datter i ægteskab gjorde han automatisk alle hendes yngre søstre potentialet
hustruer til hendes mand, og det selvom hans svigersøn måske aldrig ville kræve noget
af dem kunne de ikke på anden måde bortskaffes uden svigersønnens samtykke.

Desuden skal han huske, at hvis hans svigersøn skulle dø, ville alle hans koner
blive potentielle koner til sin svigersønnes ældste bror. Disse sager førte ofte til
fædre at forbyde deres døtre at gifte sig med de unge mænd efter eget valg og derefter
nogle gange hængte de ulykkelige unge kvinder sig selv. Men når en
der blev opnået enighed, den unge kvindes mor udstyrede hende med smukt tøj,
udover at lave en ny hytte med bøffelskind til det unge par. Under alle disse
forberedelser, der kræver uger, ledsaget af hendes mor eller en veninde, den
kommende brud under landsbyens øjne bar hver dag tilberedt mad til hytten
af hendes kommende mand. Da endelig bryllupslogen var blevet slået op i
midt i lejren fulgte brudens mor datteren til hendes nye
hjem, hjalp hende med at arrangere sin husstand og efterlod hende derefter der. Hendes far nu
bundet en dower på flere heste, alt hvad han havde råd til, til sin datters loge, nogle gange,
at vise sin respekt for sin kommende svigersøn, endda tilføje sit eget krigsskjold og de fleste
værdsatte våben. Den unge mand, da han så, at alt var parat, trådte nu ind i
bryllupshytte, der sad ved sit & quothead. & quot Og fra det øjeblik var han for evigt
forbudt at tale til sin svigermor eller til hendes søstre, og det kunne han ikke med rette
udtale deres navne. Ved samme stammelov hans svigermor og hendes søstre
var forbudt at tale til ham eller til ham ved navn. Hvis en kvinde pludselig mødte hende
svigersøn i landsbyen vendte hun enten til side eller passerede dækket sit ansigt med
hendes kappe. Dette er årsagen til tegnene, skamfuld kvinde, ofte lavet af gamle sletter
Indianere ved at henvise til en mands svigermor.

Blackfeet -børn blev kun navngivet som enkeltpersoner. Familie eller efternavne var
ikke brugt, så der sjældent var noget i en persons navn, der endda eksternt
foreslået herkomst. Børn blev ofte navngivet af deres bedsteforældre eller andre i alderen
relationer, drømme tyder normalt på de valgte navne. Nogle gange den ene
bestilt til kontoret navngav en baby for det første, man så morgenen efter
modtager Kommissionen, fugle og dyr, der leverer de fleste af sådanne navne. Imidlertid,
en voksen mand kan ændre sit eget navn, hver gang han regnet kup* i
kamp, ​​eller en gang om året, hvis han ønskede det. Gammel tid ville Blackfeet sjældent tale deres
navngive højt og tro, at det kan medføre ulykke at gøre det.

* Bemærk: Udtrykket kup, der betyder et slag, kan tilskrives den tidlige franske rejse.

Udover gaven af ​​heste eller varer til kvindens far var der ingen ceremoni,
og lidt formalitet, i en flertalsægteskab. En mands første kone var kendt som His-Sits-
Ved siden af-ham-kvinde. Hendes sted var nær & quothead & quot af lodgen på hendes mands
ret. Hun forestod logen og arbejdet med de andre koner, som ofte var
hendes søstre og hun besad særlige privilegier. Hun kan til tider deltage i
samtalen mellem hendes mand og hans gæster, og hun kunne under uformel
møder, endda ryge piben, da den blev bestået i hendes loge. De andre koner sad
nær døren, som altid er lige overfor lodgen & quothead & quot.

Rygning var en hellig ceremoni. Gamle sletter -indianere forseglede ed og aftaler
med røret. Ved rygning fyldte og tændte værten eller ceremonimesteren
stenrør, der først byder stilken til solen (faderen) og derefter til jorden (
mor) før rygning, selv. Dernæst passerede han røret til gæsten til venstre for ham,
& kvoter solen rejser. & quot Efter rygning, normalt taget tre dybe udkast, denne gæst
rakte røret til manden til venstre, og rørets stilk blev holdt peget mod
logevæg i dens bevægelser. Og røret må ikke afleveres over døråbningen.
Da manden nærmest døren på værtens venstre hånd havde røget, skal røret
gå tilbage til & quothead & quot af lodgen, hvor værten sendte den videre til gæsten
hans højre, røret gik, røget til gæsten nærmest døren på den side.

Da denne gæst havde røget, passerede han røret til gæsten på hans venstre side, så
rør igen begyndte at bevæge sig & kvoter solen rejser. & quot Hvis røret havde brug for påfyldning, var det
afleveret tilbage til værten, der genopfyldte den, gæsterne passerede den uden røget,
til manden, der havde opdaget dens tomhed. Ingen kan passere ordentligt imellem
rygere og loge-ilden.

Arvelig ledelse var ukendt. Mænd blev høvdinge ved deres dygtighed i krig
og fordi han nogensinde må være gavmild, var en høvding normalt en fattig mand. Med
Blackfeet, som med de andre indianere i de nordvestlige sletter, havde et høvdingeskab
vedligeholdes ved konstant demonstration af personlig evne. Det kan sagtens være
tabt på en enkelt dag, da disse uafhængige stammefolk frit kunne vælge deres
ledere og var hurtige til at forlade en svag eller fej karakter. Denne uafhængighed
blev indpodet hos slettefolkets børn. De blev aldrig pisket, eller
hårdt straffet. Drengene blev konstant foredraget af stammens gamle mænd,
opfordret til at stræbe efter berømmelse som krigere og dø ærværdigt i kamp før gammel
alder kom til dem. Navnene på stammehelte var for evigt på disse tunger
lærere og overalt blev fejhed bittert fordømt. En kujon var forbudt
gifte sig, og han skal til enhver tid have dametøj på.

Pigerne blev lært af deres mødre og bedstemødre at se alvorligt på
liv, for at undgå det useriøse og for at undgå fnis. Med Blackfeet, kvinder & quotgave & quot
sol-danse, de mest hellige af deres religiøse ceremonier og fordi & quotgivers & quot
af disse sol-danse må have levet eksemplariske liv for at have turdet tilbyde danse til
solen, de blev for altid bagefter meget hædret af både mænd og kvinder
af stammen. "Se, min datter," en kvinde ville sige, "der går to-stjernet.
Hun er Den-Sidder-Ved-Ham-Kvinde af Hvid-Ulv. For to somre siden gav hun en
sol-dans, og hun lever endnu. Hvis du prøver at være som hende, kan du en dag give en sol-
dans, dig selv. & quot Piger blev advaret af deres mødre mod utroskab til deres
ægtemænd, da utroskab kostede en gift kvinde hendes næse eller ører for en anden lovovertrædelse
hun blev dræbt af sine brødre eller første fætre efter formel klage fra hendes mand.
Ved stammelov blev mord straffet med døden eller ved at fratage morderen for alle
ejendom til fordel for den døde mands familie, sidstnævnte vælger straffen.
Bevist forræderi, der udgjorde forræderi, blev også straffet med døden og a
tyv blev tvunget til at returnere stjålne varer til deres retmæssige ejer.

Logerne eller tipierne på sletten -indianerne var de mest behagelige at transportere
krisecentre, der nogensinde er udtænkt af mennesker. De var lavet af kornet og delvist klædt,
bøffelko-skind, fra fjorten til fireogtyve skind kræves til en hytte.
Indiske kvinder kunne let slå eller slå en lodge inden for få minutter. I kulde
vejr lodges blev gjort komfortable, udover at blive lysere interiør, af
smukt dekorerede foringer, der nåede langt over hovederne på siddende passagerer og dermed beskyttede dem mod træk. Fra fjorten til seksogtyve krævede man slanke stænger for hver hytte, deres længde afhænger af højden på
hytte. Nye sæt stænger blev normalt klippet hvert år, da de trak dem over
sletter ved at følge bøffelbesætningerne slidte dem ud på en sæson. Loger var ofte
dekoreret med billedhistorier om medicin-drømme, skalper og bøffelhaler. I
landsby hver klan, og hver enkelt loge, havde sin retmæssige placering, loger af
klanhøvdinger bliver slået ind, en lille cirkel inden i landsbycirklen, hver altid
indtager sin arvelige stilling.

Indianere på sletterne respekterer værdighed og kærlighed formalitet. Almindelig indretning,
let og mesterligt, var altid tydeligt i loger af gamle sletterkrigere. Fra
værtens sted på & quothead & quot af en loge, hans sønner sad til venstre for ham, alt efter hans alder
koner og deres besøgende kvindelige venner til højre for ham. En mandlig gæst, ved indtastning
en loge, drejede til højre for ham rundt om logens bål og fik straks tildelt et sæde
på værtens venstre side, ifølge hans rang som kriger. Hvis en besøgende havde en besked
stod, mens han leverede den, og han blev aldrig afbrudt af nogen grund, før han havde
var færdig med at tale, og havde erklæret det. En gang inden for en loge kunne selv en fjende
tale som han valgte uden indblanding eller pjat. Efter at have forladt landsbyen han
må dog passe på sig selv.

Basket og fremstilling af keramik var Blackfeet ukendt. Deres
våben, tøj og klæder fik det meste af deres kunstneriske opmærksomhed, de tre-
udformet design, der repræsenterer de tre stammer i nationen, der almindeligvis bruges.
De fleste af deres buer var lavet af aske eller træet i chokecherry, deres pile
bliver lavet af skudene af service-bærbuske. Deres skjolde var af råskind
taget fra halsen på gamle bøfletyr. De ville dreje en pil, og siges
at have ofte vendt kugler affyret fra gammeldags rifler. De gamle tiders rør af
Blackfeet var nogle gange lavet af sorte eller grønlige, sten, "quotstright" rør
bruges til ceremonier.

Mændene havde på sig skjorter, slyngreb, leggings og mocassiner, sidstnævnte sålet med
råskind. Om sommeren havde de ikke hovedudstyr, medmindre de deltog i en ceremoni. I
om vinteren bar mændene ofte kasketter lavet af skind af dyr eller vandfugle. Ørn
fjer blev ofte båret af mændene, smukke krigshætter blev lavet med dem.
Kvinderne bar kjoler af påklædte rådyr, antiloper eller bjergfår, skind, der
nåede næsten til deres ankler, og de bar også leggings, mocassiner og dekoreret
bælter med knive i malede skede.

Mændene var grundige sportsfolk, der elskede hestevæddeløb, fodløb og spil.
De var yndefulde vindere og gode tabere i hasardspil. Og de var faste
troende på held og på den medicin, der gives i drømme. Mænd sultede ofte, og
selv, tortureret sig selv, som forberedelse til ønskede medicin-drømme. Derefter, svækket både fysisk og mentalt ved at forstærke svedbade og træthed, de
gled væk alene til et farligt sted, normalt en høj bjergtop, en ren klippe,
eller en slidt bøffelspor, der kan tilbagelægges på et hvilket som helst tidspunkt af en stor flok bøfler
og her, uden mad eller vand, tilbragte de fire dage og nætter (om nødvendigt)
forsøger at drømme, appellerer til usynlige & quelpelpers, & quot græder højt til vinden indtil
fuldstændig udmattelse bragte dem søvn eller bevidstløshed og måske en medicin-
drøm.

Hvis det var heldigt, dukkede et dyr eller en fugl op for drømmeren og gav råd og
hjælp, foreskriver næsten altid regler, som hvis de følges ville føre drømmeren til
succes i krig. Derefter var fuglen eller dyret, der dukkede op i medicin-drømmen
drømmerens medicin. Han troede på, at al den magt, den snedige og den instinktive visdom, der var i besiddelse af den optrædende fugl eller dyr, for evigt bagefter
være hans egen i nødstid. Og altid derefter havde drømmeren nogle med sig
del af en sådan fugl eller et dyr. Det var hans lykkestykke, en talisman, og han ville ikke påtage sig noget uden det på sin person.

I hver af de tre stammer i Blackfeet var der flere samfund, nogle af dem
være hemmelige organisationer. De fleste af dem var militære, nogle af dem
oprindeligt havde politimagt over landsbyer, og mindst en af ​​dem var sammensat
af drenge, der endnu ikke var gamle nok til at gå i krig. The Bloods Horn -samfund,
og Kit-Foxes of the Pecunnies, synes at have været meget det samme samfund og
det kan have været det mest hæderlige og eksklusive. Kvinderne i Pecunnie
havde også et samfund, der siges at have været hemmeligt. Det var åbenbart ikke ulig
Horn i stående, da ingen andre end kvinder i middelalderen, hvis liv var kendt for
har været opretstående var berettiget til medlemskab. Dette samfund valgte sine medlemmer,
vælger dem før opfordring, en afvigende stemme eksklusiv en foreslået kvinde.

Som alle indianere på sletterne havde Blackfeet tidligere en dyb tro på
medicin-mænd, & quotwise-ones & quot fra deres stammer, og selvom disse mænd ty til
indviklede ceremonier, som fascinerede patienter og tilskuere, er der ingen tvivl om
de helbredte ofte syge og sårede alene gennem denne tro. De gjorde dog
besidder betydelig viden om de medicinske egenskaber ved urter og rødder, og
foreskrev dem ofte. Der var lidt sygdom, siden slettens daglige liv
Indianere holdt dem i perfekt fysisk stand. Solopgang så de fleste af mændene og
drenge i de iskolde vandløb, både vinter og sommer.

Begravelse af de døde var sædvanligvis på platforme, der blev fastgjort til træernes lemmer ud over
ulves rækkevidde. Sikkert pakket ind i bøffelkåber, fast bundet med rawhide -tanga,
ligene var sikre for ravne, krager og magpies. Våben og rør var
begravet med krigere, rodgravere og køkkenredskaber med kvinderne. Ofte a
antal heste blev dræbt ved begravelsen af ​​en kriger, så hans ånd kunne ride i The Sand Hills, the Blackfeet's Heaven. I sorg over en søn eller en anden han
slægtning, både mænd og kvinder skar sig selv og klipper deres hår, kvinderne
græd ynkeligt, nogle gange i lange perioder. Sorgen om kvinder var af
kortere varighed, og ikke så vild.

Blackfeet var kødspisere. Kød udgjorde fuldt ud 90% af deres daglige billetpris. Det
var enten kogt eller ristet, & quot kødhuller & quot, der fungerede som ildfrie komfurer, værende
nogle gange brugt. Rødder og løg blev også kogt i jorden og æggene af
vandfugle blev ofte dampet. Bær blev spist friske, og de blev tørret til
vinterbrug, sidstnævnte bruges til at lave den bedste pemmican, en blanding af tørret,
magert kød pulveriseret grundigt og krydret med bær og knoglemarv.
Almindelig pemmican blev lavet med tørret kød og smeltet talg, uden at der var bær
Brugt. Blackfeet havde ikke salt, og ligesom alle sletterne tørrede stammerne deres kød
i solen, usaltet, pakker den væk til vinterbrug, pemmicanen i poser med bøffelhud.

I dagene før den hvide mand kom til sletterne var Blackfeet en glad
mennesker. Der var masser af materiale til deres mad, tøj og loger
konstant i syne på hver hånd. Ud over disse nødvendigheder var deres behov få,
så det med en fast tro på den udtømmelige overflod af deres elskede græsarealer
praktiske mennesker levede hver dag for sig selv. Og de vidste, hvordan de skulle leve. Deres stolthed over
selv forbød for meget lethed, selv i deres overflodeland. Ingen succesfuld jæger,
ingen stammemand, der med råvåben, rigeligt fodrede en familie, kunne have været en
doven mand, ingen perfekt rytter en svage. Arme og håndled på mænd, der kunne
sende pile ned til deres fjer ind i kroppe af enorme bøffeltyr var som
kraftfuld som fjederstål og mænd, der elskede krig for dens spænding ikke kunne have været
svaghjertet.

Kraften til udholdenhed hos sletterne indianere har altid været hinsides
forståelse af hvide mænd. Disse stammefolk jagede, festede, gamblede og ivrigt
førte krig, gik unge mænd ofte alene ud over de umærkede sletter for at tælle kup,
så de kunne gifte sig med de unge kvinder efter eget valg og blive regnet blandt
stammens krigere. At dræbe og skalpe en fjende gav dem ikke ret til at tælle kup.
De skal slå en væbnet fjende med deres hænder eller med noget, der er i deres hånd
hænder, uden på anden måde at skade fjenden, eller de skal fange fjendens
våben, eller være den første til at slå en fjende, der var faldet i kamp osv., reglerne for
kup-optælling adskiller sig noget blandt slettestammerne. Og denne kup-optælling
var forventet af unge mænd. I århundreder, i løbet af de lange, vinternætter på disse
nordlige sletter, røde patriarker, der følte ros af tapperhed og styrke, reciterede
heltefortællinger, hvoraf nogle kan have haft oprindelse i fjerne lande.* De var en forandring-
færre mennesker, et romantisk lykkeligt folk, indtil den hvide mand kom til sletterne.

* Jeg fandt engang en af ​​dem i en oversættelse fra sanskrit.

Blackfeet modsatte sig instinktivt at hvide fangere og forhandlere kom.
Ikke desto mindre byggede pelsvirksomhederne forter på det øvre Missouri i hjertet af
Pecunnie -land og ingen steder har den hvide mand bøjet sig så lavt for gevinst som i
pelshandel i Nordvest har han ingen steder været så forkastelig som i sin behandling
af sletterne indiske. Udover sin trade-whisky bragte han smitsomme sygdomme til en
mennesker, hvis blod var rent. Ingen vil nogensinde kende halvdelen af ​​de forbrydelser, der var
begået af disse ivrige forhandlere. Den håndhævede podning af et stort bånd af
besøger indianere med virus af kopper taget fra pustlerne på kroppen af ​​en
ramt hvid engagerer sig i Fort Union, hvis blod var kendt for ellers at være urent,
er oprørende nok, især når man ved, at skridtet blev taget helt ind
interessen for de handlende, der håbede at få svøget overstået før efteråret
handel begyndte. Det er endnu mere oprørende, når man erfarer, at alle de vaccinerede
Indianere omkom, og alligevel er denne gerning ikke mere djævelsk karakter end dechargen
af en kanon fyldt med unse handelsbolde i en skare af intetanende Pecunnies, der
besøgte på Fort McKenzie, lidt under Fort Benton, i år 1843.

The American Fur Companys dampbåd. Trapper, bragte kopper op ad floden
i 1837. Denne ødelæggende plage fejede gennem stammerne i de nordvestlige sletter
som en forgiftet kuling. Ingen ved, hvor mange indere, der omkom, estimater spænder
fra 60.000 til 200.000 mænd, kvinder og børn. Måske den mindste af disse tal
er høj. Ikke desto mindre mistede mandanerne alene 6000 medlemmer, så når pesten
havde brugt sig selv, stammen havde kun 32 krigere tilbage i live. Nåede til Fort McKenzie
sygdommen angreb først de indsatte, dødsfald forekom så hurtigt, at begravelse var
umulig. De døde blev kastet i Missouri -floden. Inden for fortet
der var 29 dødsfald, 26 af dem var Pecunnie -kvinder, der var blevet knyttet til
fort engagerer. Ved ankomsten af ​​den sygdomsbelastede båd havde der været 500 loger af
Blackfeet slog lejr ved Fort McKenzie. Nu var de væk. I hele den tid
kopperne havde svøbt fortets selskab, ikke en indianer dukkede op på sletterne.

I oktober Alexander Culbertson, leder af American Fur Company hos McKenzie,
satte sig for at lære, hvad der kunne være sket med hans lånere. Det havde han ikke
at rejse langt, før man når en landsby med 60 Pecunnie -loger, der står blandt
lig af hundredvis af mænd, kvinder og børn og endda af heste og hunde.
Her i disse forfærdelige omgivelser fandt Culbertson to gamle kvinder, der var for svage til
travel, chanting their death-songs among the putrid dead. And here, having seen
enough, Alexander Culbertson, the trader, turned back to his fort.

In November straggling groups of Blackfeet came to Fort McKenzie to tell their
awful story. The disease had not made its appearance among them until the tenth
day after leaving the post. Then its ravaging became so terrible that in the ensuing panic young warriors who fell ill stabbed themselves to death rather than have
their fine bodies wasted and scarred by the loathsome disease. More than 6000
Blackfeet had perished, they said, more than half their nation. Many other tribes
suffered as severely, the Assiniboins losing more than three-quarters of their warriors.

Nevertheless the trade in buffalo robes was that fall and winter greater than
ever before at Forts McKenzie and Union, since dead Indians needed no robes.
Stripped by thousands from their bodies by surviving tribesmen these death-robes
were traded in at the Company's forts and then, without the least attempt at disinfection, they were shipped to "the states" where, providentially, no epidemic of
smallpox ensued. But the weakened tribes never again regained their numbers.
Ever since 1837 these Indians have been failing physically. This is not only because
their best blood perished in the plague of that year, but because whole clans having
been wiped out, inter-breeding ensued.

During all this time the heavy toll upon the immense herds of buffalo in the Northwest
was scarcely noticeable and now there was an exodus of traders. Having stripped
the section of its beaver and land-fur, these avaricious white men began to abandon
their trading-posts on the river, and to leave the country to the Indians and hungry
wolves.

The Blackfeet, weakened in numbers, and tortured with bitter recollections, had
scarcely settled down to their old life when the Seventies brought the professional
skin-hunters to the plains. And now, for from 50 cents to $1.50 per head, these
white men shot down the buffalo for their robes alone, leaving countless thousands
of tons of fat meat to rot where it fell. By the middle Eighties the skin-hunters had
finished. The buffalo were gone forever. The wide grass-lands, which for centuries
had been so bountiful, were bleak, inhospitable, and bare. Even the elk and antelope
had been wiped away. The Blackfeet, and all the Indians of the plains, were hungry
now and even while the Pecunnies searched in vain for the vanished herds, which
the old warriors believed had hidden away, more than one-quarter of the tribe starved
to death.

Dazed, unable to comprehend the terrible calamity which had overtaken them,
clinging doggedly to their belief that the buffalo had hidden, and would soon return
to their loved grass-lands, the Pecunnies were slow to rally. If the tardy Government
of the United States had not acted the Pecunnies would have perished to a man.

But the Government did act at last and the work of making wild hunters into
gentle farmers in a single generation began. And this work is succeeding. Det
Pecunnies, and all the Blackfeet, are rapidly becoming self-supporting by raising cattle
and crops on the old buffalo range.


Niitsitapii (Blackfoot) Language

In physical culture the language communicates a visual picture, a perception, or a description of action that takes place in the moment of speaking, the full meaning of which is explained by the physical context. The language shares these descriptive duties by separating inanimate and animate beings, classified by some as having gender, although they then have to place nouns as being either animate or inanimate. Celestial beings, together with plants and animals, are animate.

The sign language used by the Niitsitapii (Blackfoot) also makes use of spatial orientation as a foundational principle, as does the syllabary system. The writing on rocks also relates stories. The placing of stones in particular shapes tells stories, which can then be read, telling of significant events that affect the entire community, that is, they are told by the community members to signal that some important event took place there. The orthography of lodge paintings and other expressions of the universe's forces also expresses this localizing order. A rich vocabulary is contained in each. All action has boundary and orientation, which is how one knows what happened. Above Ones, Below Ones, and All Four Directions, the origin stories, are based in the same rules. Patterns are sought and utilized in visual dimensions, with these depictions rooted in the oral patterns that set rhythm and segment, order and beauty to the storytelling. In songs and prayers, the vibration of creation is repeatedly re-created.


Blackfoot Tribe

This article contains interesting facts, pictures and information about the life of the Blackfoot Native American Indian Tribe of the Great Plains.

Facts about the Blackfoot Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Blackfoot Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Blackfoot tribe live, what clothes did they wear, what did they eat and who were the names of their most famous leaders? Discover what happened to the Blackfoot tribe with facts about their wars and history. The above picture shows the Blackfoot warrior holding a Prayer Stick that was used to make offerings and petitions to the spirit world. The Blackfoot men wore bright face paint for religious ceremonies and, more famously in times of war. War Paint was used to make warriors look ferocious and the designs and colors that were used were believed to hold magic powers of protection. The red color as worn by the above Blackfoot warrior symbolized war, blood, power, strength, energy and success.

What was the lifestyle and culture of the Blackfoot tribe?
The Blackfoot tribe nomadic hunter gatherers who living in tepees and hunted the buffalo and other game such as deer, elk and mountain sheep. The only plant that the Blackfoot tribe cultivated was tobacco. Men were in charge of hunting for food and protecting the camp and the women were in charge of the home. The vast range of the Blackfoot tribe stretched from the Missouri River from the Yellowstone and north to the North Saskatchewan and westward towards the Rockies.

Where did the Blackfoot tribe live?
The Blackfoot are people of the Great Plains Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Blackfoot tribe.

Map showing location of the
Great Plains Native American Cultural Group

What did the Blackfoot tribe live in?
The Blackfoot tribe lived in tepees which were the tent-like American Indian homes used by most of the Native Indian tribes of the Great Plains. The Tepee was constructed from wooden poles that were covered with animal skins such as buffalo hides. The tepee was designed to be quickly erected and easily dismantled.

What language did the Blackfoot tribe speak?
The Blackfoot tribe spoke in the Algonquian language.

What food did the Blackfoot tribe eat?
The food that the Blackfoot tribe ate was primarily the buffalo but all types of other game were eaten if they were available. Fish and meat was supplemented by roots, herbs, berries and fruits. The preferred method of cooking meat was by roasting however, the Blackfoot women also boiled meat sometimes in a bowl of stone or alternatively in a container made from the hide or the paunch of a buffalo.

What weapons did the Blackfoot use?
The weapons used by the Blackfoot tribe included bows and arrows, war clubs, spears, lances and knives. They also used shields made of buffalo hides for protection.

What clothes did the Blackfoot women wear?
The type of clothes worn by the women were ankle length dresses made of buckskin dresses (the skin of a male deer) The dresses were decorated with beads. The women also wore leggings in cold weather.

What was the religion of the Blackfoot tribe?
The religion and beliefs of the Blackfoot tribe was based on Animism that encompassed the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects animals, plants, trees, rivers, mountains rocks etc have souls or spirits. The Great Plains tribes such as the Blackfoot believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit . The Blackfoot name for the Supreme Being is "Apistotoke"

The Medicine Man's role was that of opponent to the bad spirits and guardian of the ordinary man. The Medicine Man used chants, dances and rituals to protect men from evil spirits. The Medicine Man was a healer, a prophet and a mystic and as such held an important position within the Blackfoot Tribe.

Who were the most famous leaders and chiefs of the Blackfoot tribe?
The Blackfeet, the Bloods (Kainai), and the Piegans formed the league of the Siksika nation. The most famous leaders and chiefs of the Blackfoot tribe included Morning Owl, Red Crow, Heavy Runner, Mountain Chief, Yellow Horse, Red Plume, Chief Crowfoot and Chief Running Rabbit. It was Chief Crowfoot who negotiated a peace agreement with the Canadian government. Their allies were the Gros Ventres of Montana and the Sarcee in Canada. The Blackfoot tribe had many enemies including Cree, the Assiniboin, the Sioux, the Crow, the Nez Perce, the Shoshone, the Flathead. But their biggest enemy was the white man who they called the Big Knives.

Blackfoot History: What happened to the Blackfoot tribe?
The First Dragoon Expedition of 1834 was the first official contact between the US government and the Plains Indians and conflicts with the whites soon followed. The Lame Bull Treaty was signed in 1855 and the Blackfoot were relegated to the reservation. More conflicts arose with the US army under the command of General Philip Sheridan. By the 1870's the deliberate great slaughter of the northern bison herds to prevent the Native Indians continuing the Great Plains lifestyle had taken effect. Many of the Blackfoot fled to Canada. In 1898, the US government dismantled tribal governments and outlawed the practice of traditional Native Indian religions - it was reversed in 1934.


MONTANA

The Blackfeet Nation invites you to visit the Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery to experience authentic Blackfeet and Native American arts, crafts and jewelry. Blackfeet Heritage Center is located in Browning Montana on Highway 2 in the heart of Blackfeet Country in beautiful northwestern Montana. The Heritage Center is open daily in the summer, weekdays in winter, is handicap accessible and admission is free.

Gallery:
Representing over 500 Native American artists, artisans and crafts people from 19 different North American tribes, the gallery carries a wide variety of authentic Blackfeet and Native American creations, including bead work, handcrafted jewelry, quill work, pottery, rugs, kachinas, horse hair work, moccasins, carvings, bronze work, sculpture, baskets, rawhide work, drums, dolls, hides, original water colors, acrylics, oils, wood relief, prints and a wide selection of Blackfeet and Native American historical, traditional and contemporary books.

Fine Art:
In our fine art West Gallery, an artist and sculptor of the month are featured. The Blackfeet Heritage Center and Art Gallery has the honor to represent some of the most talented and recognized contemporary Plains Indian artists in the United States.

Commemorative Coins:
When Lewis and Clark traveled through uncharted country and encountered the Plains Indians during their expedition, they provided many native tribes with a symbol of fellowship in the form of a trade medallion. The Blackfeet Nation in Montana has continued this tradition and is commemorating Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery II by offering a collection of precious coins and a medallion.

Fossil:
A baby Tyrannosaur skeleton represents the smallest and most complete skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaur found in North America on the Blackfeet reservation.


Legends of America

The Blackfoot Confederacy is the name given to four Native American tribes in the Northwestern Plains, which include the North Piegan the South Piegan, the Blood, and the Siksika tribes. In the beginning, they occupied a large territory stretching from the North Saskatchewan River in Canada to the Missouri River in Montana. The four groups, sharing a common language and culture, had treaties of mutual defense, gathered for ceremonial rituals, and freely intermarried.

Typical of the Plains Indians in many aspects of their culture, the Blackfoot, also known as Blackfeet, were nomadic hunter-gatherers, living in teepees and subsisting primarily on buffalo and gathered vegetable foods.

Originally living in the northern Great Lakes Region, the Blackfoot was one of the first tribes to begin moving Westward. Thought to have been pushed out by their arch enemies, the Cree Indians, the Blackfoot began to roam the northern plains from Saskatchewan to the Rocky Mountains.

Oral tradition indicates that the buffalo were first hunted in drives and deer and smaller game were caught with snares. Although fish were abundant, they were eaten only when no other meat source was available.

During the winter, the Blackfoot separated into bands near wooded areas of approximately 10 to 20 lodges, each encompassing somewhere between 100 and 200 people. Each band, led by a Chief, was large enough to defend against attacks but small enough to be mobile should provisions run short. The size also provided for buffalo hunts in the timbered regions where buffalo often wintered, sheltered from the storms and making them easy prey. Bands were defined by residence rather than kinship and members were free to join other bands whenever they liked. Leaders of each band was an informal process, defined by wealth, war success and ceremonial experiences.

In the spring, when the buffalo moved out onto the grasslands, the Blackfoot followed after all trace of the winter had ended. During the summer, the Blackfoot lived in large tribal camps, hunting buffalo and engaging in ceremonial rituals. In mid-summer, the people grouped for a major tribal ceremony, the Sun Dance. The assembly provided for ceremonial rituals, social purposes, and warrior societies based on brave acts and deeds.. Large buffalo hunts provided food and offerings for the ceremonies. After the Sun Dance assembly, the Blackfoot once again separated to follow the buffalo.

The first time the Blackfoot saw horses was in 1730 when the Shoshone tribe attacked them on horseback. For this reason, the Blackfoot were pleased when Europeans began to arrive, allowing them to gain horses themselves. However, their sentiments changed quickly as smallpox epidemics ravaged their population in the mid-1800s. Though they continued to trade buffalo hides, horses and guns with the encroaching settlers, they primarily obtained their horses through trade with the Flathead, Kutenai and Nez Perce tribes.

January 23, 1870, one of the worse slaughters of Indians by American troops occurred, since known as the Marias Massacre. While the U.S. Cavalry was looking for a band of hostile Blackfoot Indians led by Mountain Chief, they stumbled instead, onto a peaceable band of Piegan Indians led by Chief Heavy Runner.

In the early morning hours, the cavalrymen spread out in an ambush position along the snowy bluffs overlooking the Marias River. The encampment was unprotected as most of the men were out hunting and before the command to fire was made, Chief Heavy Runner emerged from his lodge waving a safe-conduct paper. When an Army scout by the name of Joe Kipp shouted that this was the wrong camp, he was threatened into silence. Another scout, Joe Cobell, then fired the first shot, killing Heavy Runner and the massacre ensued.

When the carnage was over 173 lay dead – mostly women, children and the elderly. 140 others were captured, later to be turned loose without horses, adequate food, and clothing.

Blackfoot Teepee by Edward S. Curtis

As the refugees made their way to Fort Benton, Montana, some ninety miles away, many of them froze to death. In the meantime, Mountain Chief and his people had escaped across the border into Canada.

The Blackfoot maintained their traditions and culture right up until the time that the white settlers had made the buffalo almost extinct. In 1877, the Canadian Blackfoot felt compelled to sign a treaty that placed them on a reservation in southern Alberta. In Montana, with the buffalo nearly extinct, many of the Blackfoot starved and were forced to depend upon the Indian Agency for food.

During the early part of the 1800s, the Blackfoot had an estimated population of approximately 20,000 people. However, the diseases brought on by the white settlers, including smallpox and measles, along with starvation and war reduced their number to less than 5,000 by the turn of the century.

In the face of these adversities, the Blackfoot have not lost their culture or their language. Today, there are approximately 25,000 Blackfoot members. The Piegan Blackfoot are located on the Blackfoot Nation in northwestern Montana near Browning. The other three tribes are primarily located in Alberta, Canada.

Blackfeet Nation
P.O. Box 850
Browning, Montana 59417
406-338-7521/7522


Historie

We knew that we could do a lot more together than we could do individually .

–Hank Goetz, former Lands Director

OUR STORY begins in the early 1970s, when landowners along the Blackfoot River recognized the need to build partnerships with public agencies in order to address natural resource threats facing the watershed. By focusing their early efforts where they agreed, these partners realized they could accomplish much more by working together. These early conversations paved the way for what would become public stream access and walk-in hunting on private lands in Montana.

Hank Goetz and Land Lindbergh standing at the junction of the Blackfoot and Clearwater Rivers.

Before there was no forum by which to handle the impacts to the watershed. With the influx of new ideas and people, coupled with the different agendas of all the agencies, it was time to get in front of the potential issues and try to deal with them.

-Land Lindbergh, first Board Chair

By the early 1990s, threats to natural resources and the rural way of life in the Blackfoot were coming to a head. A long history of poor mining, logging, and livestock grazing practices were taking their toll. Recreational use continued to increase and invasive weeds were spreading across fence lines. American Rivers listed the Blackfoot as one of the most endangered rivers in the nation, and native fish populations were “on a collision course with oblivion.” Furthermore, subdivision and commercial development threatened the rural, agricultural character of the Blackfoot as family ranches faced being sold and split up.

As these pressures mounted, private landowners and public agencies began to recognize the need for a coordinated forum to exchange information and identify ways to respond. Local leaders held large public meetings and face-to-face discussions across the watershed to discuss the idea of forming such an organization. On the heels of the formation of the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Blackfoot Challenge officially formed in 1993 to take a ride-to-ridge approach to collaborative conservation in the watershed.

The mission of the Blackfoot Challenge is to coordinate efforts to conserve and enhance natural resources and the rural way of life in the Blackfoot watershed for present and future generations.

A key to the Challenge’s success since those early days has been the commitment to place and process of our volunteer Board of Directors. Every public agency that manages land in the Blackfoot watershed has a seat on the board. Additional leadership is comprised of private landowners, local business owners, conservation NGOs, and other watershed residents. All share a common belief in the Challenge’s community-based approach, and meet monthly to share information, listen and learn from one another, and prioritize program delivery.

The work we do is directed by a variety of committees and supporting work groups, each of which is chaired by a board member. Our committees are forums to bring people together, share information, and devise solutions to specific issues. Since the beginning, these committees have evolved along with the needs of the watershed.

Today, the Blackfoot Challenge includes 25 board members, 10 full- and part-time staff, eight committees, and seven work groups, all working hand-in-hand to achieve the mission of the Blackfoot Challenge.

Click to view the timeline of events that led us to where we are today (coming soon!)

Process

David Mannix with Jennifer Schoonen, Blackfoot Challenge Water Steward, and Kevin Ertl, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo by Eliza Wiley.

We can agree on so many things if we just talk to people about what they want to achieve. If you can focus on the 80% of issues that we agree on, we can work together, build trust, and find success. Then if we do disagree, the trust is there to keep working on the other 20%.

–David Mannix, Board Member

AT ITS CORE, the Blackfoot Challenge is a process. A way of working together. Here, we share some of the key tenets that we hold ourselves accountable to. By following this process, we find solutions that stand the test of time.

  • Be inclusive invite everyone to the table.
  • Identify community leaders who are respected and respectful, collaborative and open-minded, and are able to represent diverse values.
  • Practice the 80/20 rule. When you think of barbed wire, it’s the pointy part that comes to mind, right? When in reality, the majority of barbed wire is smooth. We believe it’s the same when talking about values. If we focus on what we have in common, the values we share, we can get stuff done without getting hung up on the barbs.
  • Be open, transparent, and honest. This builds trust and credibility.
  • Do not pick sides or take positions on issues. This puts trust and credibility at risk.
  • Practice “proper pacing.” Stay in communication with your partners and don’t make decisions without them in the room.
  • Facilitate a respectful conversation.
  • Make decisions by consensus.
  • Be willing to take it slow. Finding success through collaborative processes takes time. With greater participation and support, it will be worth it in the end.
  • Get stuff done, share your successes, and celebrate!

The Watershed

The Blackfoot watershed. Photo by Lindsey Mulcare.

THE BLACKFOOT RIVER WATERSHED, located in western Montana, is well-known for its beauty, ecological diversity, recreational opportunities, and rural way of life. Beginning at the Continental Divide east of Lincoln, the Blackfoot River runs 132 miles westward to its confluence with the Clark Fork River just east of Missoula. The 1.5 million-acre watershed forms the southern end of the Crown of the Continent, one of the most ecologically intact ecosystems left on earth. Every species that was present when Meriwether Lewis made his return trip east along the Blackfoot River in 1806 still resides here today.

The Blackfoot River watershed forms the southern end of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem — one of the most ecologically-intact ecosystems left on earth. Map by Amy Pearson, The Nature Conservancy.

A history of glaciation left the Blackfoot watershed with a mosaic of habitat types that support a wide variety of fish and wildlife species. Higher elevations – including the Rattlesnake and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas – support trees such as subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce. Low and mid-elevation forests are dominated by ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, western larch, cottonwood and aspen. The watershed floor – characterized largely by private ownership – is covered with meadows, sagebrush steppe and native bunchgrass. The greatest source of biological diversity in the watershed arises from wetland features such as glacial “potholes,” basin fed creeks and spring creeks, marshes, shrubby riparian areas, and cottonwood forests. Rare wildlife species that call the Blackfoot home include grizzly bear, gray wolf, Canada lynx, wolverine, sandhill crane, and trumpeter swan, among many others. The river and its tributaries house a world-renowned blue ribbon trout fishery, providing habitat for the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.

Unlike other watersheds across western Montana, the Blackfoot is relatively undeveloped. Cradled between the larger cities of Missoula and Helena, the Blackfoot remains rural with approximately 9,000 residents. Seven communities dot the landscape, from Lincoln at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River down to Bonner at the mouth with Helmville, Ovando, Seeley Lake, Greenough, and Potomac in between. Logging and ranching remain principal livelihoods and still shape the core identities of most communities, while newer economies based in recreation and tourism are on the rise.

This rich diversity of communities, wildlife species and habitats in the Blackfoot watershed is compounded by a checkerboard land ownership pattern that dates back to railroad development and settlement of the west. Nearly 10 unique agencies or organizations own and manage land in the Blackfoot, in addition to private landowners. This complexity gives rise to the need for a coordinated vision and management approach across the entire landscape. While founders of the Blackfoot Challenge recognized the inherent “challenge” in bringing all these partners together, they similarly recognized the opportunity that collaboration presented for the long-term success of the Blackfoot watershed.


The Intertwined History of the Blackfeet Nation and the Milk River Project

The St. Mary diversion works, which deliver water from the St. Mary River to the Milk River and provide the water for the Milk River Project’s irrigation supply downstream, are located on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. While the facilities were built on Blackfeet land, largely with Blackfeet labor, the Milk River Project did not provide any water to the Blackfeet Nation until a new compact with the State of Montana was passed in 2016. After the recent failure of drop 5, the Milk River Joint Board of Control (MRJBOC), the Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies are working closely with the Blackfeet Nation to carry out repairs in a way that takes into account the tribe’s history, culture, and environment. In this interview, Blackfeet Nation member Jeanne Whiteing, who has a long career working with the tribe on water rights issues, discusses the intertwined history of the Blackfeet Nation and the Milk River Project and tells us about the current status of the projects repairs.

Irrigation Leader: Please tell us about your background and your work with the Blackfeet Nation.

Jeanne Whiteing: I’m an attorney in Boulder, Colorado. I went to law school at the University of California at Berkeley. I started my career in Boulder with the Native American Rights Fund. I am a member of the Blackfeet Nation and have worked for the tribe throughout almost my entire legal career, mainly on water rights issues.

Irrigation Leader: What are your thoughts on the St. Mary Canal failure?

Jeanne Whiteing: The facilities of the Milk River Project divert water from the St. Mary River on the Blackfeet Reservation through a 29-mile transbasin canal and drop it into the Milk River, which carries it up into Canada and back down into Montana. While the diversion facilities are on the Blackfeet Reservation, the project does not actually serve or provide any benefit to the Blackfeet Nation. However, whenever any of the facilities fail, it definitely has an impact on the tribe. This particular failure has an impact on surrounding lands, some of which are held and owned by the tribe and some of which are owned by tribal members. If there’s a lot of water in the canal during a failure, which fortunately was not the case this time, it could pose a real danger to tribe and reservation property. We appreciate the fact that Reclamation, the MRJBOC, and others immediately informed the tribe of this failure and included the tribe in the decisionmaking process on fixing the facilities.

Irrigation Leader: What are your thoughts about the repair process?

Jeanne Whiteing: I think everybody wants to see these repairs proceed as quickly as possible. The tribe understands that this water is essential to the Milk River Project, and the tribe has been pleased that the MRJBOC and Reclamation have consulted with it on the repairs, including consultation with the tribe’s cultural program, the tribal historic preservation offices, the Blackfeet environmental office, and the Blackfeet water office. They have acknowledged the tribe’s role in the process from day 1. That is a significant advancement from what has been the case in the past, and it is much appreciated by the tribe.

Irrigation Leader: What is your message to Congress and Reclamation?

Jeanne Whiteing: Safety is the tribe’s primary concern. It is always in everybody’s interest to ensure that the project is safe and in good repair. We want to make sure that these facilities do not cause any damage or other issues on the reservation in the future. We certainly hope that the repairs are done quickly.

As I mentioned, the tribe itself doesn’t currently benefit from the project. It will start benefiting from the project soon, since a 5,000-acre-foot allocation was provided for the tribe in the tribe’s 2016 Water Rights Settlement Act. That actually will not be completely put into place until we enter into an agreement with Reclamation.

The project has historically been a concern to the tribe. A lot of people don’t understand that these facilities are on the Blackfeet Reservation and that the Blackfeet Nation played a prominent role in its construction. The St. Mary River arises in Glacier National Park, flows directly onto the reservation, and then flows north off the reservation into Canada. It is the subject of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the United States and Canada. The St. Mary facilities were also initially constructed over 100 years ago now, largely with labor from the Blackfeet Nation. They divert almost the entire U.S. share of the St. Mary River over to the Milk River Project.

The fact that the United States diverted so much water from the Blackfeet Reservation and didn’t provide any benefits from the water to the Blackfeet Nation has been perceived as a major historical wrong. There are differing positions on the project as a whole because it diverts so much water from the reservation and provides no benefit to the tribe. At the time of the Boundary Waters Treaty and the construction of the Milk River Project, the Winters Doctrine was also coming into being. The Winters Doctrine, which came from a 1908 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving the Milk River and the Fort Belknap Indian Community, defines the concept of federal reserved water rights for tribes, which is applied to this day. However, when the project was initiated and when the Boundary Waters Treaty was negotiated, Indian water rights were not considered, and the Milk River Tribes were not at the table, even though the Winters Doctrine was contemporaneous with these events. That is why there is still the feeling that a historical wrong was perpetrated in the undertaking of the Milk River Project. Therefore, in any rehabilitation or reconstruction of the project facilities, the tribe will be looking for potential benefits and the continuing recognition of its role as a stakeholder.

The tribe has since defined and quantified its water rights in a compact with the State of Montana, which was ratified by Congress in 2016. However, while the compact did provide a 5,000-acre-foot allocation to the tribe, it didn’t really change anything relating to the Milk River Project or the diversion of water for the project. The compact also includes some provisions and legislation relating to the operation and maintenance of the Milk River Project and stipulates that the Blackfeet Nation now has to be consulted regarding any repairs to the project. We consider all of that an advancement from what had been the case. We think we still have a way to go to correct the historical wrong of the diversion of water from the reservation, but this is a start.

Irrigation Leader: What are the Blackfeet Nation’s plans for the 5,000 acre-feet?

Jeanne Whiteing: It is still too early to say. No specific plans have been identified yet. We will be focusing on that once we have the agreement with Reclamation in place. The water will be delivered to the canal, and we will have to figure out a way to deliver it from the canal to the tribe, since there aren’t any diversions off the canal on the reservation right now. How we do that will depend on the particular use that we’ve identified for the water. There is also a lot of interest from tribal members along the canal in either stock water or irrigation water, and we definitely want to respond to that interest. There is also the potential for marketing the water downstream.


Blackfeet - History

Q: Did the Blackfoot Indians ever live in the South (Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, etc.)? Did they ever merge with the Cherokee tribe?
A : It's interesting how often this question comes up. The Blackfoot Indians are people of the Northern Plains--Montana and Alberta, Canada--where they still live to this day. Not only did they never live in the southern states, they were never forced to move to Oklahoma, so they never had close contacts with the Cherokees either before or after the Trail of Tears.

However, during the 1800's, a lot of Native Americans suddenly began to surface in the southeast identified as "Blackfoot" or "Blackfoot-Cherokee." There are several theories as to why. One is that "Blackfoot" may just have been a popular tribe around then, so great-grandma from South Carolina got remembered as a Blackfoot Princess simply because it sounded more glamorous than "Catawba" did. This kind of thing happened more often than you might think (coincidentally enough, many people have been incorrectly identified as Cherokees when they really belonged to some other tribe, as well). Second, "Blackfoot" was evidently a code word among the early African-American community for a person of mixed American Indian and African heritage. And third, I've heard it suggested that local white people may have called the Saponi people of Virginia and North Carolina "Blackfoot" for some reason--possibly because the name of a Saponi band, town, or leader may have translated as "Black Foot." Since the Saponi were known for taking in escaped African slaves, perhaps the second and third theories might both be true.


Se videoen: Blackfeet Honor Song


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