Our BLACKFOOT LANGUAGE has come to us as an oral tradition, steeped in culture and history.
It is a beautiful language, rich in nuances and cultural expressions. It is an action language, based upon our reality, not on abstract thought. Our language has not been frozen in written form, it is always changing...always adapting to changing times. As some of the original words fall into disuse; others are added. Some language experts tell us that our Blackfoot language is a member of the Algonquian language family, and that we’re related to other First Nations such as the Cree. Our own culture calls us Niitsitapiiks, or the Real People. Our culture also tells us about other special people like the Above People, the Little People, the Under-Water people, the Beaver people…oh, and the Napikoaiksi….those are the strange ones… Napi’s people! But you won’t understand our ancestors’ humour and their own little practical joke on the newcomers until you come here and ask us about Napii. There are many stories about him. Because of the resilience and adaptability of our language, several variations have developed between our four member reserves. They are: the Aamsskaapi-pikani in Montana, the Kainai and Aapatohsi-pikani in Alberta, and ourselves, the Siksika. While it is still the same language and we easily understand one another, some of these variations have become a source of friendly teasing among us.