Monday, March 28, 2016

Iinnii Initiative Update

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's great to see coverage in the Guardian newpaper of the reintroduction of bison to Blackfeet traditional lands in Montana.
 
Under the auspices of the Iinnii Initiative, the reintroduction of bison to the Blackfeet (Southern Piikani or Southern Peigan) lands of Montana from Elk Island National Park will take place in April.  There are also plans to reintroduce bison to traditional lands of the related Blackfoot (Kainai, Northern Piikani and Siksika) in Canada.
 

The Guardian article mentions highly successful rancher Michel Pablo, who's mother was a Southern Pikani Blackfeet woman (Otter Woman).
 
Michel Pablo was a fluent Blackfoot and Flathead speaker who worked for a time as a Native Language interpreter before becoming a rancher.  His father is said to have been of Spanish or part Spanish background.  After the death of his father, Michel, his brother and his mother were adopted into the Flathead People.

It was not unusual for someone such as Michel Pablo to have a Blackfeet/Blackfoot mother and a non Blackfeet/Blackfoot father.  Occasional adoption and intermarriage of Spanish, French, English, Scottish, Cree, Crow, Assiniboine, Shoshoni, Sioux, Tsuu T'ina, Flathead and other neighbours into the Blackfoot community was common throughout Blackfoot history, and is an aspect of their longstanding tradition of diplomacy.

The Michel Pablo and Charles Allard story is here:
http://www.oregonpioneers.com/bios/MichelPablo.pdf
 
I'll be sure to post articles as the story of the Iinnii Initiative unfolds.

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