CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 7. . . .October 18, 2013
Filled to the brim with photographs, illustrations, stories, and information collected by the Glenbow Museum from elders for their exhibit of “The Blackfoot Legacy”, the book was originally published in 2001. Since that time, the value of this legacy and the accompanying information has become even more important to be shared, not only in the traditional territory of the Blackfoot in Canada and the United States, but with people residing outside those borders.
My living in Central Alberta, slightly north of the demarcation line of the North Saskatchewan River for the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, means that I am much more familiar with Cree traditions and cultures and appreciate the information gained from reading this book even more. I particularly appreciated that, while the history and traditions were a major focus of the presented information, there was every indication that the Blackfoot people, culture and traditions were vibrant and relevant in today’s contemporary society. I also appreciated that the book included information about the entire territory which stretches beyond the artificial current borders established by governmental officials.
The information and stories presented in the seven chapters remind the reader of the foundation and growth of this proud and germane nation. Readers explore the way of life of the Blackfoot, their world view, their coexistence with each other and their neighbours, the physical territory, and the end of the buffalo days. An extensive glossary of Blackfoot terms, image credits and bibliography and an index complete the package.
Colour, copious photographs, both in colour and black-and-white, creative and aesthetic layouts, along with eclectic sidebars and quotes offer readers an enlightening and effective expedition into the past and a perceptive and purposeful pathway for a broader understanding and appreciation of the Blackfoot people.
Highly recommended for all collections. Also recommended: Glenbow Website: http://www.glenbow.org/blackfoot/en/html/index.htm
Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and San Jose State University. She is the author of nine books on storytelling and folklore.