People: The Piikani Indians are one of the major cultural divisions of the
Blackfoot Confederacy of the northern Plains.
Traditionally, the Southern Piikani lived primarily in what is now Montana, and the Northern Piikani 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 Piikani people living in the neighboring areas of Idaho, British Columbia,
and Saskatchewan. Today, most Piikani people live on the Piikani First Nation in Alberta and the Blackfeet Nation in
Montana, but Piikani descendants can also be found among the Siksika First Nation, the Blood First Nation,
and in local non-tribal communities in Montana and Alberta.
Names:Piikani is a tribal name from their own language, usually translated as "splotchy" or "scabby robes." It refers to the
marks on hide that has been inexpertly tanned. There are different accounts of where this name originally came from, but
our Blackfoot volunteers all believe that it was the war name of an ancestral chief, in which case it was probably earned by him
in some personal exploit. It is definitely not considered an insulting name, and is used by the Piikani people themselves.
"Scabby Robe" is also used as a surname by some Blackfoot families in the modern era. Alternate spellings that have been
used for the Piikani tribe include Piikáni, Pikani, Piegan, Peigan, Pikuni, Pekuni, Piekann, and Pikanii.
Our Piikani Websites
Information and language learning materials from the Blackfoot language, spoken by the Piikani and their relatives.
Blackfoot Facts for Kids:
Questions and answers about the Blackfoot tribes.
Collection of Piikani and other Blackfoot Indian legends and origin stories.