M932.8.1.221 | Crowfoot and his chiefs, about 1880

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Crowfoot and his chiefs, about 1880
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
About 1880, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
12.7 x 15.3 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , portrait (53878) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Crowfoot was born in southern Alberta around 1830, and in 1870 became one of the head chiefs of the Blackfoot Confederacy. In 1877 he played an important role in convincing his people to sign Treaty #7, and in 1885 he persuaded the young men of his tribe, who were unhappy with life on the reserve, not to join the Northwest Rebellion. Had it not been for leaders such as Chief Crowfoot, who believed that accepting the treaty was the best of a number of bad alternatives facing his people, the government's job in opening the prairies for settlement would have been much more difficult and probably more violent. Chief Crowfoot died of tuberculosis in 1890.

  • What

    This is a late-19th-century engraving- probably copied from a photograph- of Crowfoot and three other Blackfoot chiefs.

  • Where

    Crowfoot's people controlled what is now southern Alberta and much of Montana.

  • When

    The caption of the engraving suggests a date of 1880, though it was more likely made during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

  • Who

    Crowfoot was the great leader of the Blackfoot people, and was much respected by the missionaries and the Mounted Police.