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Crowfoot

Crowfoot, also know as the Chief of Chiefs and more specifically as Chief of the Blackfoot, was a well-respected diplomat and statesman during much of the latter half of the 19th century. Grant MacEwan firmly believes that Crowfoot's leadership and decision-making abilities were instrumental in shaping western Canadian history. It was Crowfoot who signed the monumental Treaty 7. The treaty established a delimited area of land for the Blackfoot, promised annual payments and/or provisions from the Queen to the tribes, and promised continued hunting and trapping rights on the "tract surrendered." In exchange, the Blackfoot ceded rights to their traditional territory.

Known for his inspirational speeches, Crowfoot was a great orator who continually reminded his people that "land was more important than money because land will always remain." Firm and fair, he approached everything in life with an open mind. He believed that everyone should be accountable for their own actions. Crowfoot wanted peace for his people and continually sought strong working relations with the North-West Mounted Police.

Crowfoot frequently referred to himself as a Canadian. An ardent prohibitionist, he worked diligently for improved living conditions for the Blackfoot people. To MacEwan, Chief Crowfoot was another fine example of an Aboriginal who helped develop the Canadian West and exhibited leadership, charisma, and diplomacy. MacEwan called him a great Canadian whose personality must command for him an honoured place in Canadian history.

Resources

MacEwan, Grant. Fifty Mighty Men. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1971.


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