Indian languages * Indian cultures * Indian genealogy

Blood Tribe Culture and History

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 parts of Montana, Idaho, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Today, most Kainai people live on the Blood Reserve in Alberta, whose population is about 12,000. Blood descendants can also be found among the Blackfeet Nation, Siksika First Nation, Piikani First Nation, and local non-tribal communities in Montana and Alberta.

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Names: 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, who considered them dangerous enemies. 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, Kainah, Kini, Kainaa, and Kaina.

Our Blood Websites

Blackfoot Language:
    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 for school projects.
Blackfoot Legends:
    Collection of Kainai and other Blackfoot Indian legends and stories.
Blackfoot Names:
    How to write and pronounce names using the Blackfoot alphabet.

Blood Tribal and Community Websites

Blood Tribe:
    Homepage of the Kainai First Nation in Alberta.
Blood Tribe Chief and Council:
    Social media page of the Blood Tribe administration.
Red Crow Community College:
    Homepage of the Kainai First Nation's tribal college.
Iinnii Buffalo Spirit Center:
    Collaboration between the Blackfoot tribes to build an indigenous cultural center in Glacier National Park.
Kainai Board of Education:
    Information on the Blood Tribe's educational department and tribal schools.
Blood Tribe Agricultural Project:
    Homepage of a tribal organization promoting economic development on the Blood reserve.
Blood Tribe Police Service:
    Homepage of the tribal police department.
Blood Tribe Department of Health:
    Homepage of the Blood Nation's community health care system.
Blood Tribe Land Management Department:
    Homepage of the tribal organization that oversees land use on the Blood Indian reserve.

Books for sale on the Bloods
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

My People, the Bloods:
    Good history book about the Blood Indian tribe.
Blackfoot Ways of Knowing:
    Excellent book on the cultural knowledge, traditions, and worldview of the Blackfoot people.
Blackfoot Stories of Old:
    Full collection of Blood Indian mythology and oral traditions, in Blackfoot and English.
Standing Alone: * Pete Standing Alone Documentary:
    Biography and a movie about the life of a contemporary Blood Indian elder.
Native American Indian Books:
    Evolving list of books about Piikanis and American Indians in general.

Maps of Blood Indian Lands

Distribution of First Nation Reserves in Alberta:
    Map showing where the Blood Indian band is located in Canada today.
Blackfoot Nation Map:
    Map showing the original location of Blackfoot territory before colonization.

Blood Lifestyle and Tradition

Blood Tribe * Kainai * Kainaiwa Nation * Blood/Kainai Indian Bands:
    Akainawa (Blood) culture and society.
    History of the Blood Nation in Canada.
History of the Blood Tribe:
    Kainai Blackfoot history.
Mi'kai'stoowa * Mekaisto, Blood Indian Warrior * Chief Red Crow:
    Biographies of the 19th-century Kainai leader Mi'kai'stoowa (Red Crow.)
Crowfoot * Chief Crowfoot * Isapo-Muxika (Crowfoot):
    Sites about the Kainai/Siksika leader Crowfoot.
Flag of the Blood Tribe:
    Picture of the Kainai tribal flag.
Blood Indian Clothing and Beadwork: * Kainai Weapons:
    Online museum exhibits with photographs of artifacts from the Blood tribe.
The Blackfoot Tipi:
    Information and pictures about the Blood Indian style of teepee.
Kainawa (Blood) Moccasins:
    Essay on traditional Kainai moccasin patterns, with links to pictures of the different styles.

Blood Indian Literature and Arts

Hungry Wolf * Beverly Hungry Wolf * Daughters of the Buffalo * The Ways of My Grandmothers * The Blood People:
    Shadows of the Buffalo * Children of the Circle * Children of the Sun * Legends of the Old People:
    Blackfoot Craftworker's Book * Powwow Dancers *Traditional Dress * Teachings of Nature:
    Books of the famous Blood authors Adolf and Beverly Hungry Wolf.
Mike Mountain Horse * My People, the Bloods:
    Kainah author Mike Mountain Horse.
Native Artists: Gerald Tailfeathers * Wikipedia: Gerald Tailfeathers:
    20th-century Kainai painter Gerald Tailfeathers.
Blood Tribe woman recognized with Distinguished Artist Award:
    Contemporary Kainai sculptor Faye HeavyShield.
Blood Elder Reflects On Indian Days:
    Interview about the history of the Kainai Indian Days and the evolution of pow wow culture in Alberta.
Kainawa Beadwork: The Real Way of Design:
    Video about the history and significance of Kainai beadwork.

Blood Politics, Issues, and News

Kainai News:
    Canadian First Nations newspaper based on the Blood Indian reserve in Alberta.
Kainai Network News:
    Facebook page posting tribal stories.
Fractured Land * Blood Tribe members call for fracking moratorium:
    Environmental and economic development choices split First Nations:
    Tribal struggles over oil and gas development on the Blood Reserve.
The Bison and the Blackfeet:
    Article about the restoration of buffalo herds to Kainai and Blackfeet lands.
Blood Tribe wins land claim battle in federal court:
    Article about Kainai treaty rights and the expansion of the Blood Reserve.
Lethbridge government, Kainai tribe sign agreement:
    Article about indigenous rights and reconciliation in Alberta.
Blood Tribe Grief and Support Over Mass Grave * St Paul's Residential School Memorial:
    Kainai reactions to abuses that happened at Canadian Indian boarding schools.
For Indigenous boy, the meaning of long hair makes it worth the taunts:
    Article about the importance of hair to Kainai and Blackfoot culture.
Movement for social and political change in the Blood Tribe:
    Article about tribal efforts to combat drug and housing crises on the Blood Reserve.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

   Kainai Nation:
   Encyclopedia articles on the Blood tribe.
   Nation Kainai (Gens-du-Sang):
   Information about the Blood people in French.

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