History Of The Blackfeet Nation

2090 Words 9 Pages
Blackfeet Nation Cultural Paper “The Blackfeet people have occupied the Rocky Mountain region for more than 10,000 years” (Blackfeet Nation, n.d.) The historical structure of the Blackfeet Nation was forever altered by the colonization of the European settlers. Thus the modern structure can never emulate what once was. However, the Tribal council does it’s best to preserve and continue the cultural traditions today. It is on the reservation that the preservation of the Blackfeet Nation thrives and flourishes. I anticipate that through this paper one will gain an understanding of the social historical perspective, cultural competition, adaption and contributions of this resilient and courageous people. …show more content…
In the time frame from 1840-1860 they defined their borders and the first treaty was made. The 1855 treaty eventually developed the Blackfeet reservation that exists today. (The Blackfeet Nation, n.d.) Their persistence and courage to hold down their own lands payed off. It is because of this boldness that most of their original lands are indeed part of the reservation today.
Culture Blackfoot
Religion. The Blackfeet believe that the world was created by Napi which means “Old man”. He created the people out of the clay. They also believe in the Sun and his wife the Moon. Their son is called Morning Star. Thunder is also a major spirit and eagles, bluebirds, ravens have sacred powers. Many ceremonies exist to worship, heal and acknowledge the different deities. A special ceremony in the sweat lodge has significant meaning and is still practiced to this day.
Continuing Culture. Every second week in July for four days they have a large pow wow. This is a time for all to gather and learn the culture, participate in dance, music and song of old. The language is still taught and spoken on the reservation. They teach them at the school and you can continue learning at the culture center or from other elders. Many traditions as possible are continued on the reservation. Traditional music is played and traditional stories are passed down. There is a great emphasis on preserving the traditions and passing them
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An attempt was made by the US government to force all Natives to assimilate. Blackfeet was no exception to the rule and they too suffered at the hands of the boarding schools. Holy Family Mission served for a period of fifty years they attempted to civilize them. “In this way, the policy makers believed, young people would be immersed in the values and practical knowledge of the dominant American society.” (Zitkala-Sa, n.d.) Thus, stripping them of their culture, language, and traditional ways. It did forever change them but it did not eradicate the culture all together.
Contributions
The legacy of the Blackfeet lies within the heart of those who wish to preserve it. Preserved through art and crafts that are purchased for personal enjoyment. Items such as the dream catcher, moccasins, and traditional jewelry are some examples. For those who wish to embark on it, they can meditate to flute music, ancient chants and drums. Blackfeet are just one tribe that has left its mark on the fabric of American culture. That being said when you think of the Blackfeet, think of red for the people, black for the scorched earth that the people crossed to be where they are today. Think of yellow for the plains, green for the mother earth and blue for the creator because the skies are blue. These are the Blackfeet

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