Indian Mythology

Blackfoot Myths and Legends


By George Bird Grinnell

     We were sitting about the fire in the lodge on Two Medicine. Double Runner, Small Leggings, Mad Wolf, and the Little Blackfoot were smoking and talking, and I was writing in my notebook. As I put aside the book, and reached out my hand for the pipe, Double Runner bent over and picked up a scrap of printed paper, which had fallen to the ground. He looked at it for a moment without speaking, and then, holding it up and calling me by name, said:
     "Pi-nut-u-ye is-tsim-okan, this is education. Here is the difference between you and me, between the Indians and the white people. You know what this means. I do not. If I did know, I should be as smart as you. If all my people knew, the white people would not always get the best of us."
     "Nisah (elder brother), your words are true. Therefore you ought to see that your children go to school, so that they may get the white man's knowledge. When they are men, they will have to trade with the white people; and if they know nothing, they can never get rich. The times have changed. It will never again be as it was when you and I were young."
     "You say well, Pi-nut-u-ye is-tsim-okan, I have seen the days; and I know it is so. The old things are passing away, and the children of my children will be like white people. None of them will know how it used to be in their father's days unless they read the things which we have told you, and which you are all the time writing down in your books."
     "They are all written down, Nisah, the story of the three tribes, Sik-si-kau, Kainah, and Pik[)u]ni."
     For additional information about this author and his insight into the Indian and our government, please read Indians and their Stories... or about the Author.

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied .

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