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The Plains People
Environment / Housing Food / Hunting / Tools Transportation / Migration Religion / Ceremonies / Art / Clothing Family / Social Structure / Leadership Tribal Relations / War
Arrival Nomadic hunters lived in the Plains region 10,000 years ago, but they migrated south. Around 200 AD a group of Natives from the Mississippi area migrated northwest, settling in semi-permanent villages in the Plains region.
From the Rocky Mountains to the woodlands of Southeastern Manitoba, the native people of the plains spanned the Southern provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They have been there at least 10,000 years.

Map Source - The Canadian Encyclopedia
(1700s) 33,000
Algonquian, Athapascan and Siouan
Blackfoot Confederacy, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibwa (the Saulteaux), Sioux (Stoney and Assiniboine)

Note: the Gros Ventre are mostly located in the USA, so they are not included in the information.
The Blackfoot Confederacy
Peoples The Blackfoot Confederacy consisted of the Piegan people (Pikuni), the Blood people (Kainai), the Blackfoot People (Siksika), and the Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee) People.
Blackfoot pair on the Plains
Location They were all located in Alberta except for the South Peigans, and their territory stetched from the North Saskatchewan River along Edmonton down to the Missouri River in Montana, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Saskatchewan River.

Chief Red Crow
The Blood (Kainai)
Name Kainai comes from a-kainaw, meaning "many chiefs”.
Location Settlement:They settled from the Red Deer River to the Belly River.
Occupation:Occupied hunting grounds from the Red Deer River to the Belly River.
Population (1700s) about 2500
Reputation Were Fierce Warriors; enemies included the Cree, Kootenay, Shoshoni and Crow tribe.
Language Algongkian

Blackfoot Camp
The Blackfoot (Siksika)
Name Siksika means “Blackfoot” and one story suggested a Kainai noticed that the bottoms of a Siksika traveller’s moccasins had been blackened from walking across a charred site of a prairie fire.
Location Settlement: Lived around the North Saskatchewan River, near Edmonton.
Language Algongkian

Chief Bull Plume
The Peigans (Pikuni)
Name Pikuni comes from apiku'ni, meaning "badly tanned robe."
Location Settlement: They settledfoothills stretching from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta to Heart Butte, Montana, in the United States of America.
Population (1700s) 3000-5000
The largest group of the Blackfoot Confederacy, its members are split into two groups: South Peigan and North Peigan.
Language Algongkian

Sarcee Travois
Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee)
Name Sarcee derive from Blackfoot word for robustness, Tsúùt'ínà means "many people".
Location Settlement:They settled in the southwestern limits around what is now Calgary.
According to legend, the Tsuu T’ina tribe is originally from the Northern Boreal Forest.
Population (1700s) about 2500
Language Only Blackfoot tribe to speak Athapascan, like the Dene.
The Cree
Name French Explorers called them 'Cristaux', an Ojibwa word meaning 'band south of James Bay,' which soon shortened to 'Cri.' The Cree have many localized names for themselves.
"The Man Who Gives the War Whoop"
Peoples Included the Plains Cree, Woods Cree and Swampy Cree.
Location Settlement: Plains Cree lived in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Woods Cree in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Swampy Cree in Manitoba.
Population (1600s) 30 000 people
Language Algonquian
The Sioux
Peoples The Stoney (Nakoda) and the Assiniboine
Sioux Raid Party
Location Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Stoney Tipi
Stoney (Nakoda)
Name Also known as the ‘Rocky Mountain Sioux,’ the name Stoney comes from the Nakoda hot stone practice for making broth.

Settlement: Foothills of the Rocky Mountain; forests and foothills rather than Plains.

Language Siouan

Assiniboine Encampment
Name Assiniboine is derived from an Ojibwa word meaning “the people that cook with hot stones,” referring to the Nakoda practice of taking hot stones and placing them in water to boil the water to make broth.
Location Settlement: Saskatchewan and Assiniboine river valleys.
Population (1700s) about 10 000
Language Siouan
Plains Ojibwa (Saulteaux)
Name Saulteaux means people of the rapids.
Plains Ojibwa Tipi
Location Settlement: Originally a native group that lived north of what is now Sault Ste Marie, Ont. Some moved West to Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Language Algonquian
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