Friday, November 30, 2018


The first "books" I want to note are not "codexes" -- that is, not printed pages bound in a cover -- because my experience with Canada has been founded on ecology -- the high northern prairie.  

HEAD-SMASHED IN BUFFALO JUMP.  This museum was formed a little late after the others got all the "best" artifacts and the original peoples began to ask for their stuff back, so its displays are highly technological.  The book that goes with this place and explains it in depth and carefully, is published online by Athabasca University Press   

This a foundational book, an insight into community working together in a way far more complex than anyone suspected.

THE TYRRELL MUSEUM IN DRUMHELLER  The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a Canadian tourist attraction and a centre of palaeontological research.  Dinosaurs, mega-mammals, careful video explanations and picturing, all on the same ground where the fossils were found.  There are many books on these topics.


Common & Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwestern Plains by Theodore Binnema  This book explains how it has all worked together: the people, the land, the animals, through history from the beginning.

The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 by Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council with Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider, and Sarah Carter. McGill-Queen's University Press

Hugh Aylmer Dempsey, CM is a Canadian historian, an author and the Chief Curator Emeritus of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta. Dempsey has authored more than 20 books, focusing primarily on the history of people of the Blackfoot Confederacy.  I list him instead of his books because there are so many books, about 20.  The is the list printed by Wikipedia.
  • Crowfoot, Chief of the Blackfeet, (The Civilization of the American Indian Series, v. 122), Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, 1972. ISBN 0-8061-1025-2
  • Red Crow, Warrior Chief, Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1980. ISBN 0-8032-1657-2
  • Indian Tribes of Alberta, Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1979. ISBN 0-919224-00-8
  • History in their Blood : The Indian Portraits of Nicholas de Grandmaison, Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 1982. ISBN 0-933920-32-6
  • (editor) The CPR West: The Iron Road and the Making of a Nation, Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1984. ISBN 0-88894-424-1
  • Big Bear : The End of Freedom', Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 1984. ISBN 0-88894-506-X
  • Gentle Persuader : A Biography of James Gladstone, Indian Senator, Saskatoon : Western Producer Prairie Books, 1986. ISBN 0-88833-208-4
  • Bibliography of the Blackfoot, (with Lindsay Moir), Native American bibliography series, no. 13. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8108-2211-3
  • The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt and Other Blackfoot Stories : Three Hundred years of Blackfoot History, Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8061-2821-6
  • Tom Three Persons: Legend of an Indian Cowboy, Purich Publishing Ltd, Saskatoon SK, 1997. ISBN 1-895830-08-7
  • Charcoal's World: The True Story of a Canadian Indian's Last Stand, Canada Fifth House Publishers, Calgary, AB, 1998. ISBN 1-894004-20-5
  • Firewater: The Impact of the Whisky Trade on the Blackfoot Nation, Calgary: Fifth House Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-894004-96-5
  • The Vengeful Wife and Other Blackfoot Stories, Norman: University Of Oklahoma Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8061-3550-6
  • The People of the Buffalo. The Plains Indians of North America. Essays in Honor of John C. Ewers, vol 1 & 2, co-editor with Colin F. Taylor, Tatanka Press, Wyk auf Foehr, 2003 (vol. 1), 2004 (vol, 2). ISBN 3-89510-101-X (vol.1) 3-89510-102-8 (vol.2)

Adolf Hungry Wolf and his former wife, Beverly Hungry Wolf, are not listed by Wikipedia because the Wikis are snobs who are above the controversies they don't know, but his four-book masterpiece, "The Blackfoot Papers" is expensive but indispensable for studying the tribe.  It is focused on Amskapi Pikuni with original documents and many photos previously unknown.  Every library in Treaty 7 country should have a set. The Canadian and US parts of the original tribe need not be separated.  Hungry Wolf's books began as humble home typed and stapled books sold to tourists but grew in stature over the years.  He lives on the West side of the Rockies in BC in a house he and Beverly built.  It has no running water or electricity.  He runs his computer with a solar panel.  This website lists his books, Beverly's books, and has a link for notifications of new books.  "The Blood People", about the tribe where Beverly is enrolled, is for sale on Amazon for $2.99 hard back.  Christmas present?  Beverly is remarried and writing again.  Adolf has never stopped but likes to write about railroads as well.  Whatever you think about whether he's entitled to write about original peoples, he has a solid university education and his information is from the grassroots.

John Hellson was another white man embedded in Treaty 7.  He was an oral culture sort of guy, but his papers are in the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

I include these two writers as examples of writing that is overlooked or rejected because of political issues, so it's easy to think that the information doesn't exist.

Turning to fiction novels, visit  This website shows the value of controversy since the arguments over Joseph Boyden gave rise to this list.  They aren't all Treaty 7, but who is or is not from Alberta is as controversial as who is or is not "aboriginal" or even the argument over whether "aboriginal" is a nice word.  The culture in question was always oral until now and they still have a lot to talk about.

I'll pick up some more Treaty 7 books in later posts.  But I'm not Blackfeet, I'm not Canadian, and I'm not male or academic.  I'm just here. 

No comments: