Message from Chief Charles Weasel Head
Oki (hello), on behalf of the membership, welcome to the Blood Tribe. We are a culturally diverse First Nation with traditions rich in history. Our economic activity promotes an agricultural and farming environment which extends globally, our ranch and the cattle produced are much sought after in the food industry.
The people of the Blood Tribe are among those who lead the way in post-secondary achievements and beyond as we have lawyers, a judge, doctors, administrators and many more who have attained the education and experiences required to share with our young. Our schools are filled to capacity and our Red Crow College continues to prepare learners toward their dreams and aspirations. We have a deep history in the world of sports with World Champion titles in nearly every major sporting activity.
I am proud of our people. We honour our children with the same respect our ancestors honoured us. Our ties to our land, and to our Blackfoot Confederacy members continues as we walk forward with humility, compassion and strength in our resilience to remain true to our beliefs.
We hope you enjoy our website in our efforts to share news, activities and information with you.
Blood Chief Charles Weasel Head
ABOUT THE BLOOD TRIBE
The Blood Tribe has a population of 12,800 (2015) occupying approximately 549.7 square miles with a Timber Limit in the Rocky Mountains of approximately 7.5 square miles. Three rivers, the Old Man, St. Mary and Belly, border the Blood reserve. The traditional Blackfoot territory extends from the Rocky Mountains to the West; the Sand Hills to the East; to the North Saskatchewan in the North, and the Yellowstone in the South. The Blood Tribe Administration situated in Stand Off is the administrative centre of the Blood Tribe.
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 existence 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 were 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-existence 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 Tsuu 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, Blood Chief Red Crow 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 difference 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 practices 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.
The Blood reserve has approximately 549.7 square miles with a Timber Limit in the Rocky Mountains of approximately 7.5 square miles. Three rivers, the Old Man, St. Mary and Belly, border the Blood reserve. The traditional Blackfoot territory extends from the Rocky Mountains to the West; the Sand Hills to the East; to the North Saskatchewan in the North and the Yellowstone in the South. The Blood Tribe Administration situated in Stand Off and is the organizational centre of the Blood Tribe.
LAND BASE: 557.2 sq miles POPULATION: 12,800 (as of 2015)
Stand Off, Moses Lake, Levern, Old Agency, Fish Creek, Fort Whoop-Up and Bullhorn
Location map of Blood Reserve located in Southern Alberta Canada