Piegan Indians

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Ancestral Homeland: Southern Alberta near Calgary; and near Browning, Montana

History

The Piegan Indians are one of the three major Blackfeet tribes -- the Blood, the Blackeet, and the Piegan.

During the 1700's there were inter-tribal conflicts with the Shoshone, Flathead and Kootenai, with the Piegan driving the Flathead and Kootenai west of the Rocky Mountains.

The Hudson Bay Company and its French traders were early non-Indian contacts during the mid-1700s to 1780. The company established the Cumberland and Buckingham trading houses.

The tribe was plagued with smallpox epidemics in 1780, 1837, 1869 and 1870 which depopulated the tribe each time.

On January 22, 1870 the Piegan village was attacked by the U.S. Cavalry and 174 were Indians were killed.

Fort Belknap and Blackfeet Reservations were established........

About a fourth of the tribe suffered starvation in 1883 and 1884 when the rations were short, and many died at Fort Shaw and Fort Belknap.

The population of the Piegan Tribe in 1800 was about 3,000. In 1996, it was approximately 18,000.

Brief Timeline

  • 1700: tribal enemies were the Shoshone or Snake
  • The Piegan forced the Flathead and Kootenai west of the Rockies
  • 1750: French traders came in contact with the tribe, including traders at Cumberland House in 1774 and traders from Buckingham House of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1780
  • 1780-81: Smallpox epidemic
  • 1821: Fort Benton constructed
  • 1837 and 1869-1870: Smallpox epidemics
  • 1851: Treaty of Fort Laramie
  • 1855: Treaty with the Blackfeet Nation - Lame Bull's Treaty
  • 1870: January 22, Piegan village attacked 174 killed by U.S. Cavalry
  • 1873: July 5, Blackfeet Reservation established and divided in thirds- Fort Belknap Reservation , Blackfeet Reservation and________
  • 1883-1884: about a fourth of the Piegan Tribe starved to death at Fort Shaw and Fort Belknap

Reservations

Blackfeet Reservation

Fort Belknap reservation

Additional References to the History of the Tribe

Tribal Headquarters

Records

Agency

Blackfoot Agency 1855-69

Treaty

  • 1855 Treaty with the Blackfeet  

Important Web Sites

References


Bibliography

  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. [1]; FHL book 970.1 G131g.WorldCat 37475188
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- [2]
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published