Piikani First Nation
The Piikani (Scabby Robe) people are a proud and strong culture. In prehistoric days the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikaitsitapi) which consists of Kainai, Siksika and Amskapi Piikani were commonly known as the Piikani Nation. This was the making of one of the strongest military forces in North American history. The rifle was attained from the Cree and the horse was attained from the Shoshone.
It was in the 1700’s the Piikani people transformed the landscape of the North America by obtaining the Rifle and Horse. These two items saw the Piikani or Blackfoot People siege and control of the land to the North Saskatchewan River in the North, East into the heart of Saskatchewan and the border of the Montana and North Dakota, South to the Yellowstone River and all along the Front of the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
This is the land that the Piikani people declare today, theirs. This land is the most resource rich land in the world. This land supports and fuels the Canadian economy today. In past years, the buffalo(Iinii) was the staple of the Piikani peoples life. Buffalo provided every aspect of the Piikani culture from, food to cultural and spiritual uses. Buffalo served as one as the most coveted economic sources for the Piikani during the height of the fur trade. The territories rich grasslands and foothills provided perfect habitat to support buffalo all year round. The Piikani people controlled the economics of the territory by controlling the Hudson Bay, French, American and Spanish fur traders from migrating freely through North America. This was important in controlling the arms trading and horse trading. The military might of the day.
Written By: Lowell C. Yellowhorn
Researchers: Lowell C. Yellowhorn
Jason Plain Eagle
Today, the Piikani Nation consists of roughly 3600 registered members. Of this Population roughly 40% live off reserve in urban centers that surround the nation, many people move off the reserve to fulfill their needs that cannot be met within the community such as education, housing and employment.
The Piikani Nation has a land mass of 46,677.8 Hectares and two reserves 147a where the town site is located and 147b which is the timber reserve. Piikani engages in variety of functions with their Reserve lands from ranching to agriculture, spiritual to recreational activities. Economic development continues to be an area where there is a desire to invest in. Currently, the Nation has a high unemployment rate but this is attributed to a variety of external factors that have impacted the people, but there is potential that can increase the success of the Nation.
Piikani Nation has one of the highest Post-Secondary graduate rate as such the Nation hosts a wide variety of professionals ranging from Lawyers, Doctors, Educators, Scientists, RCMP and Military personnel all of whom call Piikani home. The Piikani Nation remains a leader in various aspects of Aboriginal governance and have a rich history in shaping mainstream political movements in Canada that influence life on Aboriginal people.
Piikani is an active member in various initiatives with the Blackfoot Confederacy, Treaty 7 and other Aboriginal groups. The nation is also an signatory to the Iinii Treaty signed September of 2014.
Written By: Lowell C. Yellowhorn
Assisted By: Abby Morning Bull