People: The Blood Indians, also known as the Kainai, are one of the major cultural divisions of the
Blackfoot Confederacy of the northern Plains.
Traditionally, the Bloods lived primarily in what is now Alberta, Canada. However, due to intermarriage among
Blackfoot bands and traditional nomadic lifestyles on the Northern Plains, there have also been Blood people living
in the neighboring areas of Montana, British Columbia,
and Saskatchewan. Today, most Kainai people live on the Blood Tribe in Alberta, but
Blood descendants can also be found among the Blackfeet Nation, Siksika First Nation, the Piikani First Nation,
and in local non-tribal communities in Montana and Alberta.
The true origin of the tribal name "Bloods" is disputed. Some people believe it is a translation of the Blackfoot word Aaapan,
"blood," possibly referring to a traditional blood soup, or that it might have been a mistranslation of the Blackfoot word Aapi, "white,"
referring to the ermine-skin regalia worn by Blood chiefs. It may have also first been given to them by the Cree or Kutenai tribes,
with whom they often fought. The people call themselves Kainai in their own language, which means "many chiefs" and
comes from a tribal legend. However, they also continue to use the English name Blood Tribe, which is not considered
derogatory. Alternate spellings that have been used for "Kainai" include Kainaiwa, Akainawa, Akainaa, and Kainaa, and Kaina.
Our Blood Websites
Information and language learning materials from the Blackfoot language, spoken by the Bloods and their relatives.
Blackfoot Facts for Kids:
Questions and answers about the Blackfoot tribes.
Collection of Kainai and other Blackfoot Indian legends and origin stories.