Niitsitapiisini: Our Way of LifeHome

 

The United States government kept taking away our homeland. Map courtesy of Glenbow Museum

How we Lived with Other People

Treaties

When we First Made Treaty

In 1855 the United States government asked the First Nations of western North America to innaihtsookakihtsimaan (make a treaty).

The Americans were building a railroad across the continent and wanted peace on the buffalo plains. At the time, the government promised to recognize the vast territory of our people.


Sketch of Red Old Man, Peigan chief, October 9, 1855, Gustavus Sohon, Glenbow Archives NA-360-1; Sketch of Lame Bull or Only Chief, Peigan chief, October 8, 1855, Gustavus Sohon, Glenbow Archives NA-360-6 White Bull or White Calf Bull, South Piegan chief, October 9, 1855, Gustavus Sohon, Glenbow Archives NA-360-12

Some of our leaders who made treaty in 1855.

Red Dye
Glenbow Archives NA-360-1

White Bull
Glenbow Archives NA-360-12

Lame Bull
Glenbow Archives NA-360-6


Constant Sickness

Our winter counts record the important events of each year. Many counts record the epidemics that killed our people.

Maokhkapiksssini (scarlet fever) killed 1,100 people in 1864.

Aapiksssin (smallpox) epidemic in 1868.

Children died from I'kotsaapiksssin (measles) in 1893.

Winter Count
1864 – Smallpox or scarlet fever.
1868 – Smallpox (little).
1893 – When many children died with measles.

1864 - Smallpox or scarlet fever. 1868 - Smallpox (little). 1893 - When many children died with measles. From Bull Plume's Winter Count, Courtesy of Glenbow Museum

Aapiksssin (smallpox)

I'kotsaapiksssin (measles)

From Bull Plume's Winter Count

Collection of Glenbow Museum


New Immigrants

As more immigrants came west our land in the United States was taken from us. We ended up with a reservation that is only a small portion of our original territory.

In Canada, the government sent people to innaihtsookakihtsimaan (make treaty with us).



The United States government kept taking away our homeland. Map courtesy of Glenbow Museum

View larger map (78KB)

The United States government kept taking away our homeland.

Collection of Glenbow Museum


Treaty 7

In 1877 the Canadian government met the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Tsuu T'ina, and Nakoda people to negotiate a treaty.

Our leaders, Sitting on an Eagle Tail Feather of Piikani, Crowfoot of Siksika, and Red Crow of Kainai thought they were making an agreement to help one another adjust to a new way of life. They did not understand that the government wanted all rights to the land.

R.B. Nevitt, NWMP Camp, Treaty #7, 1877, Collection of Glenbow Museum; Left to right: Three Bulls (Siksika); Sitting on an Eagle Tail Feather (Piikani) Glenbow Archives NA-4035-159 R.B. Nevitt, Indian Camp, Treaty #7, 1877,

more images

R.B. Nevitt,
NWMP Camp, Treaty #7, 1877,
Collection of Glenbow Museum

R.B. Nevitt,
Indian Camp, Treaty #7, 1877,

Left to right: Three Bulls (Siksika); Sitting on an Eagle Tail Feather (Piikani)
Glenbow Archives NA-4035-159


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