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The Blackfoot Indians

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The Blackfoot Indians
The Blackfoot Indians

The wind blows across the lone prairie, causing the golden heads of grass to sway in a synchronized motion. On the horizon stands a herd of buffalo with bowed heads silhouetted by the slowly sinking sun. In the east stands an
Indian war party mounted on horseback, each individual in different multicolored attire, all with either bows or spears in hand. As they move in for the attack, the mystical scene slowly fades from vision.... This dreamlike scene was once everyday life to the American Indian before they were robbed of all that made their life real. The Indians originally came over to North America via the Bering Strait at a time when the ice age caused the gap to freeze over. They came from Asia by following herds and in search of more. During their travels, some decided to stop and settle down, hence the many different tribes. The Blackfoot occupied the region of modern day Alberta in Canada, and Montana in the U.S. The Blackfoot consisted of three main tribes: the Northern Blackfoot(Siksika), the Piegan(Pikuni), and the Blood(Kainah). The tribes differed little in their speech, but were politically independent. Blackfoot population varied, but was less affected by the arrival of the white man than some tribes due to their location. "In 1855, there were approximately 2,400 Northern Blackfoot, 2,000 Blood, and 3,200 Piegan. The total population of Blackfoot varied as follows: 15,000(1780), 9,000(1801),
7,600(1855), and 4,600(1932)" ( ). The decline of population was most likely due to the white man's diseases and the annihilation of the buffalo.
In 1781, the Blackfoot had their first serious attack of smallpox. An epidemic of smallpox again occurred in 1838, 1845 1857, and 1864. In the winter of 1864, the tribe was struck with measles and about 780 died. In the winter of 1883 to
1884, more than 1/4 the Piegan population died of starvation (600). This was mainly the result of official stupidity and the

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