AuthorSpoonhunter, Tarissa L.
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
American Indian Studies
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Blackfoot Confederacy Keepers of the Rocky Mountains provides a first hand account of the Blackfoot intimate relationship with their mountain landscape now known as Glacier National Park, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Badger Two Medicine Unit of the Lewis and Clark Forest Service, and the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The animals shared the traditional ecological knowledge of the mountains with the Blackfoot Confederacy so they could survive through the "transfer of knowledge" in their elaborate ceremonial bundles made up of plants, animals, and rocks from the landscape. The Blackfoot agreed to share the minerals of copper and gold with the United States government through a lease agreement in 1895 following the policy of the time under the Dawes Act that allowed Indians to lease their land allotments to non-Indians. Although, the Agreement was written as a land cession with explicit reserved rights for the Blackfeet to hunt, gather, and fish upon the land, the Blackfeet have continued to maintain their ties to the mountain in secret to avoid persecution and publicly when asserting their rights. These rights have been limited, denied, and recognized depending on who is making the decision--Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and/or tested in the court of law. Despite the turmoil, the Blackfoot People have managed and preserved the area through resource utilization, ceremony, and respect for their mountain territory mapped out by Napi (Creator). Blackfoot know their status when it comes to their landscape as illustrated through the annual renewal of the bundles: "When we begin the ceremony, we call upon the water and the water animals, the sky people, the animals of the land, the plants, the rocks and so forth with the humans being the last to be called upon until all have arrived and taken their place in the lodge. Without the environment and its beings, we could not have this ceremony"
Degree ProgramGraduate College
American Indian Studies