Societies

The societies of the Siksika were referred to by the traditional name, ‘Ih ka na kaa tsiks’, meaning ‘All Comrades’. The ceremonies of the societies were secondary to the sun dance.

The All Comrades were the regulators of the buffalo hunts and served as guardians of the camp.

The societies of the Siksika were referred to by these names; Horns, Kit Foxes, Catchers, Brave Dogs, Raven Carriers, Braves, and Prairie Chickens.

Members of the warrior societies could be seen preparing sweats on the outskirts of camp. The sound of children’s laughter and the barking of camp dogs could be heard as the evening sun began to set. Soon the sound of camp criers brought a moment of calmness as the people hushed the little ones and listened for the evening’s events. With wood smoke rising from tipis the camp settled for the night, and the night singers sang their lullabies. This would be the last Siksika Sundance for the next thirty years.

In the 1980s the Siksika Culture Department began an Elder’s event called “Elder’s Spiritual Week”. Several tipis were pitched and the remnants of the societies came together to acknowledge the old ways through prayer and song. This lasted 16 years before two individuals sought to revive the societies and bring back the protective influence of the sacred bundles.

In 1996 with the assistance of the Museum Community and the Province of Alberta, the Siksika retrieved the bundles of the societies. For thirty years the bundles had rested in storage rooms somewhere far from home. The bundles returned and were ritually transferred to new members, and the Siksika Sun Dance once again brought together societies and families to thank Creator for bringing them through another winter.

The Siksika societies of 2007 are: Motokiks, Horns, Brave Dogs, Prairie Chickens, Bumble Bees, Thunder Pipe Carriers, and Beaver Men.

 

 

 

© Blackfoot Crossing | What's New | Tours | Programs | Vision Quest | Our Culture | Services | Tipi Village | Contact Us