Synopses & Reviews
The result of more than 40 years of research, The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt and Other Blackfoot Stories is a unique oral history spanning three hundred years of the Blackfoot people. Dating back as far as 1690, the stories collected here by Hugh Dempsey tell of renowned Blackfoot warriors such as Calf Shirt and Low Horn, of those who tried to adapt to a changing world, and of others who rebelled against the governmentand#8217;s attempts to control their lives. These stories are factual, based on extensive interviews with Blackfoot elders as well as research into government documents, accounts of early travelers, and records kept by missionaries, Indian Department officials, and the Mounted Police.
Once free and independent buffalo hunters, the members of the Blackfoot Nationand#150;the Blood, Blackfoot, and Peiganand#150;were forced onto reserves in the 1880s. These stories portray the problems and traumas accompanying those changes: the clash of Native and white cultures and the hardships the Blackfoot endured through years of poverty on their new reserves. The eldersand#8217; tales are reminiscences on buffalo hunts, exciting raids on enemy camps, and the freedom of wandering the prairies. Good and evil spirits being an everyday reality of Blackfoot life, the stories also explore the supernatural.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 234-247) and index.
About the Author
Hugh A. Dempsey, Chief Curator Emeritus of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, is the author of Crowfoot: Chief of the Blackfeet and The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt and Other Blackfoot Stories. A longtime editor of Alberta History, Dempsey is an honorary chief of the Blood tribe of the Blackfoot.