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The Blackfoot Indians, who are also called Blackfeet, were a nomadic American Indian tribe that migrated from the Great Lakes region to the northwestern United States.
Below are some interesting facts and further information on the Blackfoot tribe or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- The Blackfoot lived in the northern Great Plains, specifically in Montana and Idaho as well as Alberta, Canada.
- Currently, there is one Blackfoot reservation with a population of about 10,000 Indians in the U.S. and another 15,000 live in Canada.
- The Blackfoot bands are Blackfoot/Siksika, Blood/Kainai, Pikuni/Peigan, and North Peigan Pikuni.
- The Blackfoot Indians were skilled huntsmen. They primarily hunted buffalo like many other Plains Indians, and traveled in groups when hunting, to cover as much territory as possible.
- In the 1800s, Europeans began hunting buffalo as well and caused the population to collapse.
- Over 600 Blackfoot Indians starved to death because they were dependent on the almost extinct buffalo.
- Each of the four tribes share one official language called Algonquian.
- This language is also spoken by many other Indian tribes in the U.S.
- The Europeans arrival in the 1800s meant big changes for the Blackfoot.
- They brought horses with them, which were invaluable to the Blackfoot because it enabled them to hunt buffalo more easily than on foot or by dog sled.
- But, they also brought diseases and passed on smallpox and measles to the Indians and wiped out a significant percent of the population.
- The Blackfoot Indians are very spiritual and believe strongly in supernatural powers.
- They believe that everything has a spirit, whether alive or dead and can be good or evil.
- The Blackfoot’s most important spiritual ceremony is the Sun Dance, which was also known as the Medicine Lodge Ceremony.
- It’s a yearly event that takes place during the summer and centers around dancing, singing, prayer and fasting, with the buffalo being the highlight of the ceremony.
- Because they relied on buffalo so much, the ceremony was a way to honor the buffalo.
- The Blackfeet were known for mastering several forms of art including embroidery, basket-making and beading.
- Not only did art decorate their clothing, but it could also be seen on their colorful teepees and everyday tools.
- The type of jewelry that women wore most often was earrings made of seashell or semi-precious metals.
- Elk tusks were a prized possession and women wore them as decorations on their dresses.
- Men who achieved a certain level of status in a tribe would wear a grizzly bear paw on a necklace.
- Clothing included animal hide or skin. Temperatures in the northern region got cold and the hide provided warmth.
- Their war clothing was elaborate. Porcupine quills were woven into the clothing and it was decorated with beadwork and fringes as a status symbol.
- The Blackfoot population was known for being difficult to get along with.
- They fought with those living in close proximity to them including the Assiniboine, Cree, Crows, Flatheads, Kutenai, and the Sioux.
- Crowfoot, a famous Blackfoot Indian Chief and warrior, was responsible for signing a peace treaty with the Canadian government. Of the many battles he fought, he felt that the toughest battle was one he fought (and could not win) against alcoholism among his people.
- Kalani Queypo is a well-known actor with a Blackfoot heritage. He can be seen in movies such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Juror.
- Blackfeet women are very important in their culture.
- They owned and cared for the tepees in which they lived.
- Many women were religious leaders, and were responsible for teaching children about their culture.
- Blackfeet women had the choice of becoming warriors or homemakers.
- Blackfeet men taught the boys to hunt and to be warriors.
- The Blackfoot bands share a common language and culture, but they were politically independent.
- Each of them had its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country.
- Each Blackfoot community lives on its own reservation or reserve, which means the land belongs to the tribe and is legally under their control.
- The Blackfeet people valued harmony, so every chief had to agree on a decision before action could be taken (this is called consensus).
- The Piikani, Kainai, and Siksika were frequent allies and were sometimes known as the Blackfoot Confederacy, but each group always had its own leadership and made its own decisions.
- Blackfoot women wore long deerskin dresses.
- Men wore buckskin tunics and breechcloths with leggings.
- Blackfoot dresses and war shirts were fringed and often decorated with porcupine quills, beads, and elk teeth.
- Both Blackfeet women and men wore moccasins on their feet and buffalo-hide robes in cold weather.
- Later, Blackfoot people adopted some European costume such as calico dresses and felt hats.
- Blackfeet chiefs wore tall feather headdresses.
- Men wore their hair in three braids with a topknot or high pompadour, and women wore their hair loose or in two thicker braids.
- The people painted their faces for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration.
- Today, there are about 25,000 citizens of the four Blackfoot Indian bands. About 10,000 of them live in the United States, and the rest live in Canada.
- There are also many other people who are Blackfoot descendants but are not tribal members.
Blackfoot Tribe Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Blackfoot Tribe Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the Blackfoot Indians who were a nomadic American Indian tribe that migrated from the Great Lakes region to the northwestern United States.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Blackfoot Facts
- Four Bands
- Sun Dance
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Link will appear as Blackfoot Tribe Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 23, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.