December 5, 2015

2101 CANADA (Alberta) - The Stoney Nakoda Nation

2101 Stoney Nakoda Nation - Beaver Family
(Sampson, Leah and baby Frances Louise), 1906

The Nakoda (also known as Stoney or Îyârhe Nakoda), lived along Alberta's  Rocky Mountains foothills from the headwaters of the Athabasca River south to Chief Mountain in Montana. They refer to themselves as Nakoda, meaning friend, ally. The name Stoney was given them by white explorers, because of their technique of using fire-heated rocks to boil broth in rawhide bowls. They are very closely related to the  Assiniboine who are also known as Stone Sioux (from Ojibwe asinii-bwaan).

The Nakoda-Assiniboine are descendants of individual bands of Dakota, Lakota and Nakota, from which they separated sometime before 1640, and it is postulated that they migrated westward with the Cree as the fur trade moved west along the Saskatchewan River trade routes. The Nakoda spun out from the Assiniboine as an independent group at about 1744. They were also divided geographically and culturally into two tribal groups with different dialects (Wood Stoney and Mountain Stoney), which in turn were further divided into several bands.

In 1877, representatives of the Nakoda Nations of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley met with representatives of the British Crown to discuss the terms of Treaty 7. In exchange for use of traditional native lands, the Crown agreed to honor their right to self-government and an ancestral way of life. They were also promised reserve lands, situated along the Bow River between the Kananaskis River and the Ghost River, which became the Morley, Rabbit Lake, Eden Valley and Big Horn reserves, where today live most of the approximately 4,000 Nakoda Nation members.

Commonly composed of extended families, these forest and foothill people hunted bison and other big game animals. With the establishment of Edmonton House (1795) and Rocky Mountain House (1799), they traded furs, hides and fresh meat, and were invaluable guides to traders, explorers, surveyors and missionaries. The traditional way of life based on hunting, fishing and trapping has been largely replaced by agricultural activity and mixed farming.

Now their economic base includes also lumbering, handicrafts, labouring and various professions. The community from Morley enjoy a high standard of living based on natural gas royalties and operate several commercial enterprises. Their social life centres on family and cultural activities - the powwows, Treaty Days, rodeos, stampedes and camp meetings.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series dedicated to the bicentennial of The War of 1812, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Apples, about which I wrote here.

Nacoda (Stoney) - Wikipedia
Stoney-Nakoda - The Canadian Encyclopedia
Stoney Nakoda Nation (Canada) - CRW Flags

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 09.10.2014
Photo: Mary Schäffer / 1906 (Archives Collection Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies)

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