A Blackfoot Framework for Decision-Making and Mediation Processes



Today, two health structures exist on the Peigan reserve. One is based on Blackfoot culture, and the other is based on western European theories of health and healing. Although both methods are used on the reserve, the government only acknowledges the western approach. This book describes Blackfoot healing traditions, their spiritual foundations, and their historical development in great detail. Akak’stiman shows how Blackfoot healing methods can be integrated with western approaches on the Peigan reserve. Oral evidence from interviews with elders and historical documents bring varying approaches to this timely topic. This book is an important document in the neglected field of First Nations procedures and philosophies.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Akak'stiman 1
Contents 8
Introduction to the Second Edition 9
Summary 10
Acknowledgments 11
1 Introduction 12
Background Information 13
Methodology 13
2 History of the Peigan People 16
Prehistoric Times 17
Dog Days 17
Horse Days 18
Treaty Days 19
The Early Twentieth Century 19
Early Contact 19
Population 20
Starvation 21
Epidemics 22
3 Social Structures 24
Family and Extended Family 24
Bands 25
Tribe 26
Societies 27
Leadership 27
Roles of Men and Women 28
4 Peigan/Blackfoot Concepts of Sacred Bundles and their Functions 30
The Natoas (Sun Dance Bundle) 31
The Beaver Bundle 32
The Thunder Medicine Pipe Bundle 33
Societies' Bundles 35
Individual or Personal Bundles 36
5 Transfer Rites 40
6 The Blackfoot Circle Structure Process 46
Traditional Blackfoot Medical Care 52
7 Healing, Health Services, and Health Providers 52
Western Medical Services 54
Canadian Government Health Bureaucracy 55
8 The Blackfoot Circle Structure Model and its Application Health Administration 58
9 An Application Mediation Processes in Child Protection and in Business 60
10 Conclusion 64
Appendices 66
A: Creation Story 66
B: First Contacts Between White Men and Blackfoot 67
C: Legend of Star Boy (Later, Poia, Scarface) 69
D: The Elk-Woman 72
E: Origin of the Long Time Pipe 73
F: Origin of the Medicine Pipe 74
G: Loss and Capture of the Thunder Pipe 75
H: Transfer History of the Small Thunder Medicine Pipe 81
I: Interview: Bull Horn Doctor 82
Notes 86
Bibliography 102