Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 11 to 18
- Grade: 6 to 12
In Siksikaitsitapi: Stories of the Blackfoot People, seven authors share their stories that come from both from legend and from their personal experiences, with many of the stories in both Blackfoot and English languages. The book is illustrated with beautiful full-colour pictures and photos which help convey these stories from Blackfoot traditional and contemporary traditions and cultures.The Blackfoot Confederacy is made up of the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, and Amskapi Piikuni Nations of Southern Alberta and Montana.
Payne Many Guns' story captures the ways the Blackfoot People live in harmony with the land, animals, and stars in their traditional lands.
Crystal Many Fingers tells a delightful, modern story about animals, their gifts, and why they were put on Earth.
Sheena Potts' story beautifully illustrates the many ways love is alive in Blackfoot traditions and culture.
Tim Fox tells a humerous story about mice who are having a celebration that the raven Napi and a group of dogs want to join.
Marlene Yellow Horn shares her personal story of the teachings she learned as a child about the Elders' traditional and sacred knowledge.
DerRic Starlight tells the tale of Morning Star's diverse and loving family life.
Foreword is by Alayna Many Guns.
About the authors
About the first of seven authors
PAYNE MANY GUNS
My name is Payne Many Guns. My traditional name is Iikootsomin which means “Red Wing.” It is my great-greatgrandfather’s name that I am honoured to have. I am a member of the Siksika Nation which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. I come from a long line of chiefs and signatories of Treaty 7. I am also the founder and owner of Niitsitapi Co. which is an Indigenous clothing brand. I am very passionate about my language and culture because of the knowledge, pride, strength, and resiliency it gives me.
Excerpt: Siksikaitsitapi: Stories of the Blackfoot People (by (author) Payne Many Guns, Crystal Many Fingers, Sheena Potts, Latasha Calf Robe, Tim Fox, Marlene Yellow Horn & DerRic Starlight; foreword by Alayna Many Guns)
Excerpt From A’pistotooki kii Ihkitsik Kaawa’pomaahkaa Creator and the Seven Animals By Crystal Many Fingers
It was iksisto (hot) on a niipo (summer) morning, Natosi (the sun) was shining brightly in the sspoohtsi (sky). Seven of the kaawa’pomaahkaa (animals) had gathered together to say their regular morning aatsimoyihkaan (prayers). They were seated in an ao’takii (a circle). “Ayo Ihtsipaitapiiyao’p (Oh Great Spirit and Source of Life) Ayo A’pistotooki (Our Creator) Isspommookinnaan (Help us)” Immoyiitapi (Big Foot) led the group as they asked A’pistotooki (Creator) for help from harm. After they said Aatssimoyihkaan (prayers), Ksisskstaki (Beaver), the one who had sopoksistawa’si (grown in wisdom) asked, “Why did A’pistotooki (Creator) put us here on this ksaahkomm (Earth)?” All of the other kaawa’pomaahkaa (animals) nodded their heads in agreement. “Yes, please O Great Spirit, A’pistotooki, tell us why we were put here on this ksaahkomm (Earth).” All of a sudden, waahkanaapinako (a beautiful sunbeam) shone down through the soksistsiko (clouds). It shone directly down on the kaawa’pomaahkaa (animals). All of them looked up sspoohtsi (skyward). A loud voice began to speak, “I am A’pistotooki (your Creator). I will now tell you why you have each been put on this ksaahkomm (Earth).” “Ksisskstaki (Beaver), since you are the first one to ask and since you cherish the knowledge, you will be the one to Sopoksistawa’si (grow in wisdom). You will have the gift of being able to move the Aohkii (water) and you will protect it and all who dwells in them. You will also protect the maohtoksko (trees) and soi’stipikiaaki (berries) that also live along the niitahtaa (river). This will greatly help the Niitsitapi (Real People). The Niitsitapi will always honour the great Aohkii iksissta’pssi (water spirits) in their Aatssimoyihkaan (prayers).” “Kiaayo (Bear), you are the protector of the ikso’kowa (relatives), the Nookoossinnaaniksi (children), Ninnaaniksi (fathers), Niksisstsinnanniksi (mothers), and Naahsinnanniksi (grandparents) of the Niitsitapi (Real People). Because of this, you will always be sskonata’pssi (industrious and strong). You will be iiyikitapiiyi (brave and fearless) as you roam the ksaahkomm (Earth). You will be considered an awaawahkao’tsii (warrior) to all because of how you strive to protect them.”
End of Excerpt
“Children everywhere can learn through Blackfoot storytelling.” — Beverly Hungry Wolf, author of The Ways of My Grandmothers