Topic: Blackfeet

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and...

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The Tribes West of the Mississippi – Indian Wars

By treaties concluded by the agents of the United State government at different periods, nearly all of the Indian tribes have been induced to remove west of the Mississippi. Those who remain in the haunts of their fathers are chiefly converts to Christianity, and in a half civilized state. Many of the tribes have dwindled into insignificance, yet the few who remain are proud to maintain their distinctive appellation, and support the independence of their old clan. The most powerful and numerous tribes in the northwest are the Sioux, or Dacotahs, the Blackfeet, Crows, and Pawnees. A few of the celebrated Delaware tribe still remain, and are a source of terror to their numerous enemies. The Blackfeet Indians occupy the whole of the country about the sources of the Missouri, from the mouth of the Yellow Stone to the Rocky Mountains. Their number is between forty and fifty thousand, and their general bearing is warlike and ferocious. Their enemies are numerous, yet they maintain their ascendancy. The Crows are a much smaller tribe than the Blackfeet, with whom they are always at war. They are fearless warriors, and seek their enemies wherever they are to be found. In number they are about six thousand. The following is an account of one of their battles with the Blackfeet Indians. Fight Between the Crow and the Blackfeet Indians In June, 1845, a...

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Kit Carson, His Life and Adventures – Indian Wars

The subject of this sketch, Christopher “Kit” Carson, was born on the 24th of December, 1809, in Madison County, Kentucky. The following year his parents removed to Howard County, Missouri, then a vast prairie tract and still further away from the old settlements. The new home was in the midst of a region filled with game, and inhabited by several predatory and hostile tribes of Indians, who regarded the whites as only to be respected for the value of their scalps. The elder Carson at once endeavored to provide for the safety of his family, as far as possible,...

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Indian Hostilities in California and New Mexico – Indian Wars

The Indian tribes of California are in a degraded and miserable condition. The most numerous are the Shoshonee, the Blackfeet, and the Crows. Many of them have been brought to a half civilized state, and are employed at the different ranches. But those in the neighborhood of the Sierra Nevada are untamable, treacherous, and ferocious. They wander about, for the most part going entirely naked, and subsisting upon roots, acorns, and pine cones. Since the discovery of the gold, they have acquired some knowledge of its usefulness, but no clear conception of its value, and they part with their...

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Blackfeet Reservation Historical Timeline

The largest and oldest histories of Montana Tribes are still very much oral histories and remain in the collective memories of individuals. Some of that history has been lost, but much remains vibrant within community stories and narratives that have yet to be documented Time Immemorial Creation – “Napi,” Old Man, created the Rocky Mountain Range, the Sweetgrass Hills and other geographic features in Montana and Canada. 1700 – The Blackfeet acquired the horse and rifle. 1700s – The Blackfeet traveled south along the Rocky Mountains. 1780 – A band of Blackfeet raided a Shoshone camp not knowing the Shoshone had small pox. The raid resulted in a smallpox epidemic among the Blackfeet band. One third of the band died. 1818 – The US and Canadian border was established. The 49th parallel would figure prominently in Blackfeet geography. 1837 – A second smallpox epidemic struck the Blackfeet. 1851 – The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. While an estimated 10,000 Indians attended this treaty negotiation, the Blackfeet did not. Though they were not present, Article 5 defined their territory, using the Musselshell, Missouri, Yellowstone Rivers and the Rocky Mountain Range as markers. 1855 – Lame Bull Treaty / Judith River Treaty.This treaty took place at the mouth of the Judith River with the Blackfeet, Nez Perce and the Salish and Pend d’Oreille (language in treaty also refers to Flathead tribe)...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Fort Pitt, September 8th, 1876

To His Excellency The Governor Of Manitoba. Excellent Governor,–Having had some years of experience as a missionary amongst the Cree and Blackfeet Indians of the North-West Territory, I humbly undertake to submit to your consideration a few details regarding the latter tribe of Her Majesty’s Indian subjects. I do this with all the more confidence as the successful way in which you conducted the treaty with the Carlton Indians (a treaty including no small difficulties), has convinced me of your thorough knowledge of the character of this people. But, although the general character of all the tribes may be nearly the same, yet in their social dispositions they sometimes materially differ, and this, I think, will be found to be the case with the Cree and Blackfeet when compared on that point. The Cree have always looked upon the white man as a friend, or, to use their own language, as a brother. They have never been afraid of him, nor have they given him any cause to be afraid of them. The Blackfeet have acted somewhat differently; they have regarded the white man as a demi-god, far superior to themselves in intelligence, capable of doing them good or evil, according as he might be well or ill disposed towards them, unscrupulous in his dealings with others, and consequently a person to be flattered, feared and shunned, and even...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Friday, October 20th

On this day the Indians accepted the terms of the treaty, and several of the Chiefs made speeches. The first speaker was Crowfoot. CROWFOOT–“While I speak, be kind and patient. I have to speak for my people, who are numerous, and who rely upon me to follow that course which in the future will tend to their good. The plains are large and wide. We are the children of the plains, it is our home, and the buffalo has been our food always. I hope you look upon the Blackfeet, Blood, and Sarcees as your children now, and that you will be indulgent and charitable to them. They all expect me to speak now for them, and I trust the Great Spirit will put into their breasts to be a good people–into the minds of the men, women and children, and their future generations. The advice given me and my people has proved to be very good. If the Police had not come to the, country, where would we be all now? Bad men and whiskey were killing us so fast that very few, indeed, of us would have been left to-day. The Police have protected us as the feathers of the bird protect it from the frosts of winter. I wish them all good, and trust that all our hearts will increase in goodness from this time forward....

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Monday, 17th October

This was the day appointed for the opening of the Treaty, but as a number of the Indian Chiefs, who had a long distance to come, were absent, it was deferred until the following Wednesday. The Governor, however, addressed a number of the Chiefs who were assembled at the Council House. He said, “Last year a message was sent to you by the Councilors of the Great Mother that they would meet you at an early date, and as her Councilors always keep their promises, they have appointed Col. McLeod and myself to meet you here now. We appointed this day, and I have come a very long distance to keep my promise, and have called you together to discover if you all have responded to my summons, and if any Chiefs are now absent, to learn when they shall arrive. You say that some of the Blood Chiefs are absent, and as it is our wish to speak to them as well as to you, and as they have a very long way to come to reach this place, we shall give them until next Wednesday to come in. On that day, I will deliver to you the Queen’s message, but if any of the Chiefs would desire to speak now, we will be glad to listen to them. I would tell you now, that while you remain,...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Government House, Battleford, North-West Territory

Sir,–I have the honor to inform you that on the 4th August I received at Swan River your telegram dated on the first of that month. It notified me that a Commission appointing Lieut.-Col. James F. McLeod, C.M.G., and myself, Commissioners to negotiate a treaty with the Blackfeet and other Indians of the unsurrendered parts of the North-West Territories adjoining the United States boundary, had been forwarded to Fort McLeod. I immediately made preparations for the journey. These occupied me a week, as arrangements had to be made for the removal of furniture and other property to Battle River, where the Government House for the territories, in course of construction, would probably be ready for occupation on my return from the treaty negotiations. On the 11th August I left Swan River for Fort McLeod, via Battleford, proposing to go from the latter place by Cypress Hills to my destination. I took the Quill Lake trail and came to the telegraph line, about four miles from Big Stone Lake. Thence I followed that line until I came to the trail at the elbow of the North Saskatchewan leading to Battle River. Where the telegraph crosses the South Saskatchewan I found an excellent ferry scow, and a ferryman placed there by the Public Works Department. I arrived at the ferry about noon on the 20th, and though a high wind rendered...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Payments were Completed

About noon on Friday the payments were completed, and the Commissioners proceeded to close the accounts. They found that the number of Indians paid, who had accepted the terms of the new treaty was as follows:– Head Chiefs, 10 at $25 = $250 Minor Chiefs and Councilors, 40 at 15 = $600 Men, women and children, 4,342 at 12 = $52,104 Total, 4,392 = $52,954 The Cree who gave in their adhesion to Treaty Number Six were only paid the gratuity, this year’s annuity being still due them. These were paid from the funds of Treaty Number Six as follows:– Chief, 1 at $25 = $25 Councilors, 2 at 15 = $30 Men, women and children, 429 at 12 = $5,148 Total, 432 = $5,203 The officers of the Police Force, who conducted the payments, discharged this duty in a most efficient manner. Not in regard to the payments alone were the services of the officers most valuable. With respect to the whole arrangements, Lieut. Col. McLeod, my associate Commissioner, both in that capacity and as Commander of the Police, was indefatigable in his exertions to bring the negotiations to a successful termination. The same laudable efforts were put forth by Major Irvine and the other officers of the Force, and their kindness to me, personally I shall never fail to remember. The volunteer band of the Police at...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Saturday, 22nd September 1876

On Saturday, 22nd September, we met the Indians to conclude the treaty. Mekasto, or Red Crow the great Chief of the South Bloods, had arrived the previous evening, or morning, on the ground, and being present, came forward to be introduced to the Commissioners. The assemblage of Indians was large. All the head Chiefs of the several tribes were now present; only two Blackfeet and two Blood minor Chiefs were absent. The representation was all that could be expected. The Commissioners had previously informed the Indians that they would accept the Chiefs whom they acknowledged, and now close in front of the tent sat those who had been presented to the Commissioners as the recognized Chiefs of the respective bands. The conditions of the treaty having been interpreted to the Indians, some of the Blood Chiefs, who bad said very little on the previous day, owing to Red Crow’s absence, now spoke, he himself in a few kind words agreeing to accept the treaty. Crowfoot then came forward and requested his name to be written to the treaty. The Commissioners having first signed it, Mr. L’Heureux, being familiar with the Blackfoot language, attached the Chiefs’ names to the document at their request and witnessed to their marks. While the signing was being proceeded with, a salute was fired from the field guns in honor of the successful conclusion of...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – On Tuesday

On Tuesday, at two o’clock, the Cree Chief and his band assembled according to appointment. The Commissioners ascertained from him that he had frequented for some time the Upper Bow River country, and might fairly be taken into the present treaty, but he expressed a wish to have his reserve near Pigeon Lake, within the limits of Treaty Number Six, and from what we could learn of the feelings of the Blackfeet toward the Cree, we considered it advisable to keep them separate as much as possible. We therefore informed the Chief that it would be most expedient for him to give in his adhesion to the treaty of last year, and be paid annually, on the north of Red Deer River, with the other Cree Chiefs. He consented. We then told him that we could not pay him until after the Blackfeet had been dealt with, as it might create jealousy among them, but that in the meantime his band could receive rations. He said it was right that he should wait until we had settled with the Blackfeet, and agreed to come and sign his adhesion to Treaty Number Six at any time I was prepared to receive him. During Tuesday, several parties of Indians came in, but the principal Blood Chiefs had not yet arrived. According to appointment, however, the Commissioners met the Indians at two...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – On our journey

On our journey, while within the limits of Treaty Number Six, we met scarcely any Indians, but after we crossed Red Deer River we met a few Cree and Half-breeds, and several hunting parties of Blackfeet. The former generally use carts in traveling, but the Blackfeet and their associates are always on horseback. The Cree appeared friendly, but were not so demonstrative as the Blackfeet, who always rode up at once with a smile on their countenances and shook hands with us. They knew the uniform of the Mounted Police at a distance, and at once recognized and approached them as their friends. We resumed our journey on Monday and arrived at Fort McLeod on the Old Man’s River, on Tuesday the 4th September. The distance between the Blackfoot crossing of the Bow River and the Fort is about seventy-nine miles, thus making the length of our journey from Battleford three hundred and sixty-five miles as measured by Major Irvine’s odometer. A few miles from Fort McLeod I was met by the Commissioners of the Mounted Police and a large party of the Force, who escorted me into the Fort, while a salute was fired by the artillery company from one of the hills overlooking the line of march. The men, whose horses were in excellent condition, looked exceedingly well, and the officers performed their duties in a most...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Sunday Afternoon

On Sunday afternoon the Indians fought a sham battle on horseback. They only wore the breech-cloths. They fired off their rifles in all directions, and sent the bullets whistling past the spectators in such close proximity as to create most unpleasant feelings. I was heartily glad when they defiled past singly on the way back to their lodges, and the last of their unearthly yells had died away in the distance. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were occupied in paying off the different tribes. They were paid by Inspector Winder, Sub-Inspector Denny, and Sub-Inspector Antrobus, each assisted by a constable of the Force. It was hard work to find out the correct number of each family. Many after receiving their money would return to say that they had made a wrong count; one would discover that he had another wife, another two more children, and others that they had blind mothers and lame sisters. In some cases they wanted to be paid for the babies that were expected to come soon. On Wednesday the Chiefs presented an address to the Commissioners, expressing the entire satisfaction of the whole nation with the treaty, and to the way in which the terms had been carried out. They tendered their well wishes to the Queen, the Governor, Col. McLeod, and the Police Force. They spoke in the most flattering and enthusiastic manner of...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Thursday, October 19th.

The Governor, on arriving at the Council House, where all the Chiefs were awaiting him, said that he was glad to see them all there, and that he had only a few words to say to them. He said, “I expect to listen to what you have to say to-day, but, first, I would explain that it is your privilege to hunt all over the prairies, and that should you desire to sell any portion of your land, or any coal or timber from off your reserves, the Government will see that you receive just and fair prices, and that you can rely on all the Queen’s promises being fulfilled. Your payments will be punctually made. You all know the Police; you know that no promise of theirs to you has ever been broken; they speak and act straight. You have perfect confidence in them, and by the past conduct of the Police towards you, you can judge of the future. I think I have now said all, and will listen to you and explain anything you wish to know; we wish to keep nothing back.” BUTTON CHIEF–“The Great Spirit sent the white man across the great waters to carry out His (the Great Spirit’s) ends. The Great Spirit, and not the Great Mother, gave us this land, The Great Mother sent Stamixotokon (Col. McLeod) and the Police to...

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