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People of Blackfoot: John White Calf

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Blackfoot is a terminology referring to the three Native American Blackfoot which are the Indian branches of one nation one living in the United States while the remaining two groups are found in Canada. They practice the cloth-making process, the most interesting part is that they made their clothes from bison skin by using steel knives which they obtained from barter trade with their furs, they made their clothes by hands a practice that continued even after the arrival of the British in their land. The clothes which they make are waterproof, long-wear, and waterproof. Some of the clothes that they made include the Aurora Borealis dress which was made by using three pieces of hiding, they also decorated their clothes with a lot of glass beads. They also made soft-dressed bison skins which they used for making lodges. In cold weather, both women and men wore a robe of beaver skin or a tanned buffalo while in summer they wore a lighter robe made of cowhide on which their hair has been removed.

In Pukini Blackfeet, Chief Two Guns Calf was the son of the white calf and the last tribal chief. He was born in 1872 he was also known as John White Calf and John Two Guns and was responsible for many of the treaties in the Blackfeet tribes, including solving land treaties on behalf of his tribe like stopping the mining which causes health problems to native Americans communities, especially where mining takes place in their matrimonial land, this is to protect their health. He was believed to be the main model for Indian nickel. John White Calf was the head of a secret group known as the Mad Dog society. The role of this group was to sustain and protect Blackfoot heritage. He was a very outspoken chief mostly about united states policies and mistreatment of Native Americans. He signed most of the treaties on behalf of his people in which he refused some of the treaties between his people and the united states government and thus he is greatly known for that. He also became a fixture at Glacier national park where he posed with tourists and thus the Blackfeet people gain a profitable change. He also acted as a public spokesperson for the Northern Pacific Railroad this made his public relations staff comes up with the name ‘Two Guns White Calf’. He was convinced to put his likeness in the coin when he first saw the Indian-head nickel. 

However, James Earle Fraser insisted that the head was a composite of several models and thus he named Two Moons and Iron Tail. His idea of the development of the Great Northern Railroad promoted tourist attraction to its passenger traffic on its train and Glacier Park Hotels this was to encourage the idea that Two Guns were the model. However, Fraser denied ever having to see the guns because the United States was afraid that they will be a great influence on the other tribes. John White Calf also fought for the right of his people’s cultural activities from the United States policies and through that, the traditional Indian dances for example the Gost and Sundance were retained after being banned for a long period, this was after the American Indians were able to receive the blanket citizenship in the year 1924. 

The United States government give them this privilege because they feared the warriors of the Blackfoot may retreat from the policies and attempt to fight so that they can regain their land back. He was also a courageous chief to the extent that he went up to Washington DC to collect monies from the United States which were owed to his Indian people. This showed how patriotic he was since he refused to return from Washington DC without the money for his people claiming that he only did this and was ready to die for the right of his people he meant no matter the cost he will not return without the money. Due to his determination and resilience, he was able to be handed over the cheque for his people. He did all this because he was also a great statesman whose duty was to fight for Native American rights since he was working with presidents of the United States and other prominent people. In his portrait, he is positioned facing the right side as if he was looking on to a silent dignity. His deer-skinned attire is decorated with beaded sewed symbolism and stressed by encrusted necklaces. It also has a feather which is a symbol of his bravery it is fixed to his hair. 

Many of the adornments that are worn by John white symbolize his bravery. He stoically Celtic crossed his weapons giving away a fur to drape from his encirclement. Unluckily he died in 1934 after suffering from pneumonia and he was buried in Browning, Montana in the United States. John Two Guns is historically significant for his bravery and leadership which he used to protect against the violation of his people’s rights. Firstly he is famously known for promoting the Glacier national park for the Great north railway which was used by tourists for easy transportation of tourists to the Glacier national park. He is also remembered for claiming a model for the profile on the Indian head nickel which was as the sculptor. He took advantage of sitting with the president and other prominent leaders to fight for the rights of his people and it is through this that his people were given citizenship and some of their cultural activities such as the dances were retained. He also serves as a loyal leader and through this, his legacy will still be remembered in that he went up to the offices in Washington DC and refused to go away without his people’s money this show that he was willing to die on behalf of his people. 

In some instances, he even refused some agreements with the United States and thus the treaties went unmet this was only done to protect his people. Through his courage, he made the United States doubt themselves and even able to grant them some privileges in that they went up to even gain their identity and this was a kind of freedom to them. Moreover, he has a big connection to the national football league in that his sculptor was changed to be Washington’s national football league logo which was another blow to the Native Americans.

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People of Blackfoot: John White Calf. (2022, August 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from
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