Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Blackfoot Nation

This website clearly signifies the traditional beliefs and values the Blackfoot Nation appear to sustain and are immensely proud of. Their opening greeting to those visiting the website, somewhat mysteriously, shows how dedicated they are to theses traditions: " We are members of the ancient line of Blackfoot people going back before time. We are the traditional believers in our ancient ways that were given to us by iits-tsi-pah-ta-pii-op - the Source of Life." Despite this, it is also revealed that they are "alive in the modern age" and that they "use the technology of the present era to educate relatives, our friends and ourselves worldwide."

The continual use of their own language throughout the website emphasises their pride in what they consider to be part of their tribal identity. One page on the website, entitled 'Greater Blackfoot Nation' begins with the phrase "NIITSITAPII AHSISTO (The Real People Declare)" and thus precedes various declarations from the tribe, such as their territory: " The recognition of our Exclusivity of Title to the lands of the traditional Niitsitapii territory (the North Saskatchewan River in the North, and, South to the Yellowstone River, and, in the West from the Continental Divide and East to the Touch Wood Hills); the land which we call Niitsitpiis-stahkoii" and continue to give an idea of unity within the tribe: " We gather together to help each other in good times and hard times."

There is also a sense that this tribe have not forgotten, and will never forget, how they have been treated in the past, often referring to those who attempted to "enslave" them with their "genocidal pursuits that seek to kill us and destroy our cultures" and consequently try to "reject the dogma of mankind". Therefore, overall, there is an overriding impression that this tribe are completely independent from everyone else and this, among many other elements, contributes hugely to their identity.

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