Blackfoot is an Algonquian language spoken in the Blackfeet Nation in Montana in the USA, and in the Piikani, Siksika and Kainai Nations in southern Alberta in Canada. In 2016 there were about 4,900 speakers of Blackfoot.
The dialect of Blackfoot spoken in Montana is known as Aamsskáápipikani (Southern Piegan). The dialects spoken in Canada are known as Siksiká (Blackfoot), Kainai (Blood, Many Chiefs), and Aapátohsipikani (Northern Piegan). The name Blackfoot is thought to derive from the black soles of the leather shows worn by Blackfoot people.
Since the late 20th century efforts have been made to revitalize the Blackfoot language. Blackfoot is taught as a subject, or through immersion in primary and secondary schools in the Blackfoot Nations, and there is a Blackfeet Community College in Montana. There are also some programmes in Blackfoot on a radio station in Browning, Montana.
The Blackfoot syllabary was devised by John William Tims (1857-1945), an Anglican missionary from England who spent 12 years from 1883 to 1895 among the Blackfoot people in the North-West Territories of Canada (now Alberta). Tims based his Blackfoot syllabary on James Evans' Ojibwe syllabary and used it to produce a dictionary of the Blackfoot language and translations of a number a biblical texts.
Nowadays the syllabary is rarely used as the Latin alphabet is prefered.
Aamohka nitaayakitsinikatawahka kiaayaowahka ki omahka kipitakiwahka anistawa Ksistsikomaaki. Iitoisiyihk. Iiksipihtsi omii otsitotoispima miini.
Information about the Blackfoot language and syllabary
Online Blackfoot dictionary
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