Blackfoot Traditional Territory, Nitawahsin’nanni – Our Home and Our Land
“Amsskapipiikunniwa, Kainaiwa, Siksikawa, and Aapatohsipiikunniwa, members of Siksikaitsitapiwa, known as the Blackfoot Confederacy, occupying since time immemorial our collective traditional territory bounded on the North by the North Saskatchewan River, On the East by the confluence of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers (including the Great Sand Hills and Old Lady Lake), on the South by the Yellowstone River, and on the West by the Continental divide; this said territory given to us by the creator to live in harmony with all of his creation” - Declaration of Siksikaitsitapiwa (Blackfoot Confederacy) 2000
The Blackfoot Confederacy sacred geography focuses on four areas: the Bow River; the Porcupine Hills; the Blood Clot Hills; and the Rocky Mountains Miistakiistsi. These areas are important places where the holiest gifts were given to the people. The Beaver Bundle was gifted to the Blackfoot people here at Paahtómahksikimi. It represents all-natural life: the four legged, the ones who fly and the ones who live in the water. The Beaver Bundle brings all of those together and the Blackfoot people are a part of that. It signifies the Sacred Kinship we have with all of life and our connection to the natural world.
From the depths of the lake to grassland prairie, to high mountains, Blackfoot territory embodies many distinct ecosystems. In the understanding of these ecosystems there is a wealth of knowledge. Blackfoot people understand that all things are connected—it is important to pay attention to all forms of life. We must respect the land and water all life is important and precious. From the Blackfoot perspective, life is enhanced by the knowledge and experience from being in a place. “Aatappiiskoo”- that place is living.