Indigenous history in the South – Lethbridge Herald

by ahnationtalk on October 11, 201790 Views

October 11, 2017.

The history of southern Alberta begins long before the traders, coal miners and settlers of Lethbridge. The rich history of the Blackfoot Peoples goes back for many years.

The Niitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) is made up of four separate nations: the Kainai, Piikani, Siksika and the Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet in Montana). Their traditional territory took in much of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as northern Montana. In this area, they would travel with the seasons, making summer and winter camps. Their travels would take them to the areas rich in food and medicinal sources that they would gather, as they followed the herds of buffalo for hunting.

This territory contains many significant historical and cultural sites for the Blackfoot Peoples. The settlement of this land disrupted some of those traditional patterns. Reserves, residential schools and other government policies have left a difficult legacy for many Indigenous families. Yet despite that legacy, the Niitsitapi still have strong ties to the land and their cultural practices.

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