Blackfeet

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The Piegan Blackfeet (Aamsskáápipikani (Southern Piikáni/Peigan) or simply as Piikáni in Blackfoot) are a tribe of Native Americans of the Algonquian-language family based in Montana. Many members of the tribe live as part of the Blackfeet Nation in northwestern Montana, with population centered in Browning. According to the 1990 US census, there are 32,234 Blackfeet.[1] Three other tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy are First Nations located in Alberta, Canada.

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Relations and history

The Blackfeet are closely related to three First Nations in the Canadian province of Alberta. All speak dialects of the Blackfoot language. These First Nations are the Kainai Nation (formerly the Blood), the Northern Peigan and the Siksika Nation. These First Nations and the Blackfeet are sometimes collectively referred to as the Blackfoot or the Blackfoot Confederacy. Ethnographic literature most commonly uses "Blackfoot people", and most Blackfoot people use the singular Blackfoot. The US and tribal governments officially use "Blackfeet", as in Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Blackfeet Nation, as seen on official tribe website. The term Siksika, derived from Siksikáíkoan (a Blackfoot person), may also be used in self-identification. In English, an individual may say, "I am Blackfoot" or "I am a member of the Blackfeet tribe."[2]

The linguistic connection of the Blackfoot language to others in the Algonquian-language family indicate that the Blackfoot had long lived in an area west of the Great Lakes[citation needed]. The Blackfoot language is also agglutinative. Though they practiced some agriculture, they were partly nomadic. They moved westward partially because of the introduction of horses and guns, and became a part of the Plains Indians culture in the early 19th century. However, there is also evidence that they were near the Rocky Mountain front for thousands of years before European contact.[citation needed] The Blackfoot creation story takes place directly below Glacier National Park in what is referred as "Badger-Two Medicine".

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