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Indians of Montana > Piegan Indians
|Regions with significant populations|
| Ancestral Homelands: Southern Alberta near Calgary; and near Browning, Montana|
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|Other Related Ethnic Groups|
Siksika or North Blackfeet; Kainah or Bloods
The Piegan are a part of the present-day Blackfeet Nation.
1 Agency Square
Browning, MT 59417
The Piegan Indians are one of the three major Blackfeet tribes -- the Blood, the Blackfeet, 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.
- 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
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
- Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Piegan tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods.
Since the Piegan are a major part of the Blackfeet Nation, the following agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over them. BIA agencies were responsible to keep such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.
- Blackfeet Agency 1855-present
During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.
Treaties to which the Piegan Indians were a part were:
- 1855 Treaty with the Blackfeet
Tribal Office Records
The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.
Important Web Sites
- Piegan Blackfeet Tribe Wikipedia
- under the Blackfeet Agency in Montana, as reported by Frederick Webb Hodge. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906. Hodge also reported an additional 493 Piegan at the Piegan Agency in Alberta, Canada.
- Frederick Webb Hodge. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906.
- 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. ; 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) -- 
- 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