In this unique photograph, there are four Atsina elders who share a moment in this 1909 photograph. The Atsina people went by many names, including A’ane, Ahe, and A’aninin. The nation personally referred to themselves by the latter, meaning “The White Clay People.”
A curious history of French interaction emerged as the French added yet another name to their already sprawling list: Gros Ventres, meaning “big bellies.” The tribe allied with the Blackfoot nation to add support to fight the United States government. The tribe would then go on to betray the Blackfoot by siding with the Crow people. This move proved disastrous.
A bleak chapter of Native American history is captured in this photo of eleven children and teenagers before attending their first day of school at Carlisle Indian School in November 1886. The Carlisle Indian School was an attempt by the United States government to force the assimilation of Native American children into Western culture and appearance.
The Chiricahua people were known as nomads and part of the Apache people, were skilled warriors known for their resilience and had the reputation of being the most warlike of all the Arizona nations. The cold, snowy land of Pennsylvania, where the Carlisle school was located, was a far cry from their desert homelands.
In this shot, a Lummi woman with her traditional earrings stares at a distant point off-camera. Her nation the Lummi, was renowned for its maritime skills and its formal name, Lhaq’temish, which directly translates to “People of the Sea.” The tribe is known to have nomadically roamed the Washington area for close to twelve thousand years.
Trade relations with early Asian and European explorers remained sound for years until the United States government earmarked the Lummi land for mineral and supply exploitation. The Lummi of today reside in the same area and have revived most of their traditions.
Blackfoot People in Tipi
A 1933 photograph captures three Blackfoot individuals preparing food in their tipi in Glacier National Park. The Blackfoot Nation and Glacier National Park have a long history. Dubbed “the backbone of the world,” the area is the ancestral home of the almost one hundred thousand Blackfoot alive today.
The vast territory dominated by the Blackfoot in the 18th and 19th centuries stretched from modern-day Saskatchewan a thousand miles south to the Missouri River. Today, members of the Blackfoot nation have set out to reintegrate Glacier National Park as part of their homelands and income.
A Nimi’ipuu man poses for the lens in this shot. Little is known about the subject of the photo, See Hawk. His tribe, the Nimi’ipuu, was incorrectly named “Nez Perce” by French explorers in a case of mistaken identity. The phrase “nez perce” translates to “pierced nose” in English, as some Native American tribes were known for this facial adornment.
The Nimi’ipuu became a force to be reckoned with after learning how to domesticate horses. They managed to fend off five thousand American soldiers over a six-month-long battle that came to be known as the Nez Percé War.