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Piikani Nation Culture and History

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.

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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

Blackfoot Language:
    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.
Blackfoot Legends:
    Collection of Piikani and other Blackfoot Indian legends and origin stories.

Piikani Tribal and Community Websites

Piikani Nation:
    Official homepage of the Piikani First Nation of Alberta.
Peigan Board of Education:
    Information on the Piikani First Nation elementary and secondary schools.
Blackfeet Nation:
    Homepage of the Blackfeet tribe of Montana, where most South Piegan people live today.
Blackfeet Community College:
    Tribal school serving the Blackfeet Indians in Montana.
Glacier Peaks Blackfeet Casino * Discovery Lodge Casino:
    Homepages of the tribally operated Blackfoot casinos of Montana.

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

Amskapi Pikuni: The Blackfeet People:
    Good history book about the Piikani Indian tribe.
The Piikani Blackfeet: A Culture Under Siege:
    Another interesting history book about the Piikani and the effects of colonization.
Blackfoot Ways of Knowing:
    Excellent book on the culture, traditions, and worldview of the Blackfoot people.
The Sun Came Down: The History of the World as My Blackfeet Elders Told It:
    Collection of Blackfeet mythology and oral traditions told by a Piikani author.
My Life as an Indian * Blackfeet and Buffalo:
    Books by James Willard Schultz, an early 20th-century adventurer adopted by the Piegan Blackfeet people.
Native American Indian Books:
    Evolving list of books about Piikanis and American Indians in general.

Maps of Piikani Indian Lands

First Nation Reserves in Alberta:
    Map showing the location of the Piikani reserve in Canada.

Piikani Lifestyle and Tradition

The Piegan:
    Curtis' early 20th-century ethnography of the Piikani and other Blackfoot tribes.
Piikani * North Peigan Pikuni * Piikani Nation * Pikuni Indian Bands:
    Pikanii (Piegan) culture, lands, and people.
Piikunii (Peigan) Indians:
    Online exhibit of artifacts from the Piikani tribe.
Emma Lee Warrior (Peigan):
    Native American Piikani authors, their lives and work.
Piikani Nation Powwow * Piikani Nation Annual Celebration * Piikani Pow Wow Video:
    Information about the Piikani powwow and cultural festival.
Blackfeet Nation Flag:
    Piikani tribal flags.
    History of the Piikani Nation in Canada.
The Pikuni * Blackfoot Indian History: The Early Days:
    History of the Piikani Blackfoot tribe in the United States.
The Marias Massacre * Notes On An Obscure Massacre * Witnesses to Carnage:
    History of the 1870 Marias Massacre of Heavy Runner's band of Piegan by the American government.
Lewis and Clark: Piegan:
    Piikani Indian interactions with the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Blackfoot Politics, Issues, and News

Badger-Two Medicine:
    The Blackfeet Indian fight against oil drilling on their sacred lands.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

   Wikipedia: Piegan Blackfeet * Northern Peigan:
   Encyclopedia articles on the Piikani tribe.

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