Who were the Blackfoot People?

Blackfoot were a group of Native American tribes. The Blackfoot people lived a nomadic lifestyle. They didn’t have a permanent home, so they kept moving around and hunted bison for food.

A large population of bison lived in the area, so it was easy for them to hunt bison and use their hide as building materials. Blackfoot were known as fierce warriors and were able to defend their territory against other Native American tribes.

Where did the Blackfoot Indians  live?

The Blackfoot people lived in the modern-day state of Montana and the adjoining territory of Canada. Initially they didn’t have a lot of land under their control.

But over time, the fought off other Native American tribes and were able to become the most powerful tribe in the northwestern Great Plains. They remained in the area until settlers from the United States of America started to arrive in the region in mid-19th century.

Houses of the Blackfoot

The Blackfoot built cone-shaped houses called teepees. These were built using a frame of long poles which was then covered with bison hides.

The good thing about these houses was that they could be moved around very easily. This was very convenient because the Blackfoot often moved around in search for bison to hunt and didn’t remain long in one place.

In the winters, these houses stayed warm. An interesting thing about the Blackfoot houses was that when building their houses, the main entrance always faced east.

Why were they called Blackfoot?

The exact source of the name is unknown. However, there are some interesting theories by the scholars and historians. Some say that they wore moccasins which were dyed black and that’s why they were called Blackfoot.

Others say that they built prairie fires which they used to stay warm during the cold weather. And that due to excessive exposure to these fires, their moccasins turned black which is why they are called Blackfoot.

Fighting between America and the Blackfoot

In the 19th century, the United States of America was expanding from the original colonies in the east towards western America. During this expansion, America often came into conflict with Native American tribes over the control of land.

In the middle of the 19th century, America had expanded to the point that the northwestern Great Plains were a part of the American map.

So American settlers started arriving in the area to build homes, own land, farm and mine. The Blackfoot who previously owned this land weren’t happy with this, and so both sides fought for the territory.

Peace with America

The Blackfoot were great fighters and warriors. But they had to rely on bison herds which they hunted for food. When American settlers started arriving in their homeland, they hunted bison so much that the population of the bison became greatly depleted in the area.

At the same time, Blackfoot were fighting with the American forces for the control of the land. With a lack of food and faced with well-armed American forces, the Blackfoot eventually agreed to sign peace treaties with the American government.