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I hope you find this both interesting and informative.

- BlackBear
Language: Blackfoot, or Siksika, is an Alqonuian language spoken by 8000 people in southern Alberta and northern Montana. The two main dialects are called Pikanii and Siksika Blackfoot. Many children are still learning Blackfoot, but the language is currently undergoing linguistic shift, with 'Old Blackfoot' being spoken by older generations and 'New Blackfoot' being spoken by younger ones.
People: The Blackfoot Nation really consists of four distinct Blackfoot nations, who share a historical and cultural background but have separate leadership: the Siksika (which means Blackfoot), the Akainawa (also called Kainai or Bloods), the Pikanii (variously spelled Piikani, Pikani, Pikuni, Piegan, or Peigan), and the Blackfeet. The first three nations are in Alberta, Canada, and the fourth is in Montana. ("Blackfeet," though the official name of this tribe, is actually a misnomer given to them by white authorities; the word is not plural in the Blackfoot language, and some Blackfoot people in Montana resist this label.) The Blackfoot were nomadic plains hunters, traditional enemies of the Shoshone and Nez Perce. There are about 14,000 Blackfoot Indians today all told.
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The flag, which is not used extensively, is a medium blue and bears at the hoist a ceremonial lance or coup stick, having 29 eagle feathers attached.

In the center is a ring of 32 white and black eagle feathers surrounding a map of the reservation. On this appears a warbonnet and the name of the tribe in English and in the Algonquin based native tongue of the Blackfeet. All items appearing in the center are white with black edging and black lettering.
Mission:
Peace Beads™ is committed to generating global peace, envisioning a world in which every human being may enjoy freedom and self-_expression. Today’s Peace Beads™ are a symbol of this vision, given by one person to another in the same spirit that made original peace beads popular in the 1960s.

Peace Beads™ are made with seven gemstones, gifts of the earth that have been chosen for their beauty and unifying energy. Each gemstone symbolizes one of the seven continents and represents our connection with one another as we embark on a journey of peaceful solutions to resolve our differences. The unique blending of beads and gemstones represents the blending of people worldwide.

Peace Beads™ are made by communities in need, fostering the opportunity for increased stability and prosperity. Our first design is specially crafted by Native Americans of the North American High Plains, bringing together members of different tribes working harmoniously, creating a model for international peace.

Peace Beads™ draws from the wisdom of the many great traditions represented by each manufacturing community. The High Plains Native Americans teach us that peace between nations begins with true peace within the souls of individuals. It is by nurturing and sharing this inner peace that we invent a world of freedom, compassion and non-violence. Wearing and giving Peace Beads™ symbolizes the first step in this movement embracing global peace.

In an effort to further promote global peace, Peace Beads™ supports various non-profit groups, schools and communities that share our philosophy. These relationships enable us to assist in raising funds to support the overall cause and to reach more people with the message of peace and freedom.

Our Mission Statement is:
"Our mission is to promote global peace in today’s world through the symbolic wearing and giving of Peace Beads™."

Our tag line is:
“Choose peace…give Peace Beads™.”
Undoubtedly, the greatest devastation to the Indian people was the near extinction of the buffalo by the white settlers. Their main food source gone and not having yet taken up the concept of farming, the Blackfeet were forced with total dependence upon the Indian Agency for food. The winter of 1884 was a cruel one; over 600 Indians starved to death reducing the tribe to some 1,400 people.

To help the tribe live in the whiteman's world, the government and religious organizations setup schools and other programs to educate the Blackfeet children and help create jobs on the reservation. The aim of these ventures was to educate the Blackfeet people so that the can have their own governance and self-determination.
Man's Shirt and Leggings

Blackfoot; ca. 1840; tanned deerskin, porcupine quills, hair, glass beads, woollen cloth, paint; shirt 89 cm. long, leggings 109 cm. long;

The Blackfoot owner of this striking garment must have been not only an outstanding warrior but also an ambitious man of great wealth -- wealth that he lavished on the pursuit of sacred blessings and social prestige. In Blackfoot society certain costumes associated with the spiritual patrons of warriors conferred these benefits. This costume is unique in combining the distinctive insignia of three patrons -- the sun, the weasel and the bear.

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Blackfoot War Party
In the early 1900s, Catholic missionaries (who had introduced education and religious practices as early as 1859) were joined by the government in establishing day schools and a boarding school on the reservation. The government began to emphasize farming for subsistence, which changed to raising
stock by 1915. A 1919 drought, combined with a drop in cattle prices, forced many Blackfeet to sell or give up allotted lands because of nonpayment of taxes. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 stemmed the loss of Blackfeet lands, and the tribe has been steadily progressing in terms of economics, education, and housing standards since.

General Information
Tribal enrollment is 14,837, and trust acreage of the reservation is 1,858,149. The Blackfeet today produce a variety of crops, including, oats, barley, alfalfa, and spring and winter wheat. Tribal members raise a significant amount of livestock, and more than 640,000 acres of the reservation are used for grazing.

Government jobs are a major source of employment, and a HUD-funded “Home Project” has led to construction activity. About four percent of the reservation is logged commercially. Coal, oil, and natural gas represent the dominant mineral resources. And despite active development since the 1950s, substantial reserves remain.

The Blackfeet Writing Company produces pencils and pens, and Heart-Butte Industries produce teepees and canvas bags. Consumer and retail businesses include restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations, and lumber and hardware stores. A 67-acre tribal industrial park offers full utility services and a railroad siding.

Numerous tribal motels, lodges and campgrounds help to accommodate the millions of tourists who visit Glacier National Park annually. Other tourist attractions on the reservation include the Museum of the Plains Indian and festivals such as North American Indian Days, featuring dances, ceremonies, and a rodeo.

The Sun Dance emphasizes the relationship between mankind and the universe which was perceived as existing in a cyclic harmonious balance.

http://www.blackfeetnation.com/
The History of Blackfoot Dance
Spirituality was very important to the Blackfoot. They believed that young men went into the wilderness to be visited by a vision or dream that would give them a protecting spirit for the rest of their life. Dancing was also a very important part of their spirituality.

Tobacco was burned because it was believed to be a way to reach the spirits.

Their most important ritual was the Sun Dance. This ritual had three or four days of dancing, feasting and religious ceremonies. Part of the ceremony was a test of a young warriors strength and his ability to take pain. His pectoral muscles would be cut and rope would be attached to the muscle. The other end of the rope was then tied to a centre post of Sun Dance lodge until either the muscle broke or the warrior fainted from pain or exhaustion!

Dancing Today...
Today, the Sundance is still practiced. Some dances have changed from ceremonies to a combination of a dance, celebration, family reunion, and a festival! Powwows are held all over North America. Powwows are famous for their beautiful costumes, dances and music.

Most powwows include First Nations people from many nations. Together they celebrate their native heritage through dance, music, and song. The dance styles seen at today's powwows come from many different regions of North America.
Native American Legends
How the Blackfoot got the Buffalo Jump (Piskun)
Awa chopsi pono Ka me ta (Horse Crazy)

One day Napi was out on the Plains and became hungry and pleaded to the Great Spirit to help him and give him something to eat. The Great Spirit heard his prayers and said " Alright Napi, mound up the dirt as big as you can eat".

Napi started mounding up the dirt and the more he worked
the hungrier he got, until he had a big mound and was tired out as he wasn't used to working so hard for something to eat, as the Creator usually fed him when he asked.

The Creator said " I see you have become greedy with me helping you too much so I will make the mound of dirt something you can eat, but you will have to learn to kill it", with that the Great Spirit turned the big mound of dirt into a Buffalo which charged Napi and he started running, more in fear of his life than thinking how to kill it, he ran across the plains, the Buffalo close behind him. Finally he saw a tree and thought if I can make it to the tree I can get away from this beast and then plan how to kill it.

As he neared the tree he saw a big branch sticking out, low enough for him to reach but high enough to get away from the Buffalo. He was running as hard as he could and the Buffalo was gaining on him, just as he reached the tree and swung up the Buffalo ran under him and disappeared. After he got over his fright and came down from the tree he found that the tree was on the edge of a cliff and the Buffalo has ran off it and was laying at the bottom.

The Great Spirit spoke to him and said "Now Napi your greed almost got you hurt but I will give you another chance, I will put Buffalo on the Plains if you share your kills with your brothers the meat eaters and your people". Which he did and showed the people how to use the Buffalo Jump. One is at Two Medicine River, another on Milk River as well as many others all over the Blackfoot Hunting Grounds.

Napi (Old Man) of the Blackfoot is the equivalent of Iktomni, the trickster, of the Sioux, as is Old Man Coyote of the Crow.

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