Geographical region : Alberta, Montana
Lived normally in tipis
Language group : algonquin
Tipi of Horn Society
The Blood Tribe / Kainai and its confederates the Peigan and Siksika are considered to be the oldest residents of the western prairie region.
Blackfoot is found to be so diverse from other language groups, leading linguists to believe that the Blackfoot people have lived apart from other language groups for an extended period of time.
Archeologists date the existance of a plains hunting culture in the area to 11,000 years before present.
The Blood Tribe was a vibrant, self reliant and self sufficient society.
Its traditional territory, rich in natural resources supplied all its basic economic needs.
Its well developed social structure, cultural and political systems provided a solid foundation that allowed excellence in every aspect of life.
The Blood Tribe was allied politically, culturally, and economically with the Siksika (Blackfoot), and Peigans (North and South Peigans) forming what historians refer to as the Blackfoot Confederacy.
The Confederacy's traditional territory is described, in the historic period, as bordered on the north by the North Saskatchewan River , in Alberta, south by the Yellowstone River in the State of Montana, west by the Rocky Mountains, and east by the Sand Hills in Saskatchewan.
The strength and tenacity of the Blackfoot Confederacy was well appreciated by the designers and agents of westward expansion.
As such , the Lewis and Clark Expedition was forced to circumvent Blackfoot territory and history is replete with accounts of the Blackfoot Confederacy's staunch protection of its lands, resources and trade interests.
The Blackfoot speaking peoples were one of the last First Nations to enter into treaty with the Americans in 1855, through the Lamebull Treaty.
On the British side of the 49th parallel, the tribes did not enter into treaty with the British Crown until 1877.
Treaty 7 was primarily a peace treaty intended to facilitate a means of peaceful co-existance with the newcomers.
To compensate for the destruction of the primary economic resource, the buffalo, and the sharing of the land, certain economic benefits were to be provided to the First Nations.
Treaty 7 involved an area of 50,000 square miles of land south of the Red Deer River and adjacent to the Rocky Mountains.
The Bloods, along with the Siksika and the T'suu T'ina had a reserve of land designated for them along the Bow River, which was surveyed in 1878, subsequent to the treaty of 1877.
However, Chief Red Crow of the Bloods, had not been consulted on this and was not in favor of such an arrangement.
The Blood Tribe refused to settle on the reserved lands at the Bow River, preferred their own lands, situated further south.
Red Crow selected for the Bloods, the land between the Waterton River and the St. Mary's River back to the Rocky Mountains and as far south as the Canada - US International Boundary.
In 1882, J.D. Nelson surveyed a reserve for the Blood Tribe, comprised of 708.4 square miles.
The southern boundary was set at 9 miles from the international boundary.
However, in 1883, the reserve was resurveyed, without explanation or consultation with the Blood Tribe.
As a result, the reserve was reduced to 547.5 square miles.
The Blood Tribe has never accepted these adjustments and continues to advance formally their understanding as selected and identified by Chief Red Crow in 1880 and the differece between the 1882 and 1883 surveys.
The Bloods cultivated and maintained an attitude of independence and fierce pride in their identity as Kainai.
This spirit allowed them to successfully resist the efforts of governments, the churches and other European agencies whose policies and practises could have a greater adverse impact on their cultural identity and legal rights.
Today the Blood Tribe continues to draw strength of the past as it strives to realize a unique vision for the future.