Piikanissini, the way of life of the Piikani, sets out the inherent values and principles of the Akaa Piikani, the ancient Piikani people.
The Akaa Piikani were a member of the Siksikatsiitapiwa, the Blackfoot People, comprised of Kainaiwa, Siksikawa, and Piikaniwa. The Siksikatsiitapiwa marked their Blackfoot territory since time immemorial with significant Blackfoot landmarks – in the north by the North Saskatchewan River, on the east beyond the Great Sand Hills, on the south by the Yellow Stone River, on the West by the Continental Divide. This was the territory given to the Siksikatsiitapiwa by Istipatahyopi, the Source of Life, to coexist with all his creation. The Siksikatsiitapiwa integrated with this land through stories, songs and ceremonies, and as a people we collaborated to maintain a distinct language, spirituality and culture, as well as, familial, economic, social and governmental relationships.
The Piikani were originally located in the Siksikatsiitapiwa territory in one geographic area, nevertheless, since the imposition of the international boundary, the Piikani have been geographically divided into two groups. The Aapatohsipiikani (North Piikani), located in Canada, and the Amsskapipiikani (South Piikani), located in the United States.
The Aapatohsipiikani, (referred to as the Piikani for the purposes of this document), wish to maintain their unique language, spirituality and culture as a people, while sustaining their family and social relationships, and traditional governmental systems.
The Aapatohsipiikani further strive to enhance our lives as a people by advancing the political interests of the Piikani, which includes protecting our treaty and aboriginal rights. The Piikani will further strive to ensure that the values, principles and integrity of the Piikani are preserved in the process.
The Aapatohsipiikani or Piikani, in respect of the foregoing, make the following declaration:
WHEREAS the Piikani, descendants of the Akaa Piikani, are a member of the Siksikatsiitapiwa;
AND WHEREAS the Piikani originally utilized specific areas within the territory of the Siksikatsiitapiwa, namely, those areas marked on the north by the North High River, on the west by the Great Divide;
AND WHEREAS the Piikani currently occupy lands on the Peigan Indian Reserve, in particular, those lands identified by Sits Behind the Eagle Tail at Treaty No. 7 as significant areas of the Piikani as marked by Crowlodge Creek, the Old Man River and the Porcupine Tails (Hills);
AND WHEREAS Piikani, although faced with many challenges as a people, have continually strived to maintain their language, spirituality and culture distinct to Piikani, including their family and social relationships, and traditional governmental systems, while promoting political interests, economic interests and education programs that will enhance the lives of the Piikani people;
AND WHEREAS Piikani, in pursuit of all their endeavours, aspire to always uphold and incorporate the values, principles and integrity of the Piikani;
AND WHEREAS Piikani also continue to endeavour to maintain economic, social and governmental relationships with the members of the Siksikatsiitapiwa;
AND WHEREAS Piikani, recognizing that first Nation governments are one of the three orders of government within Canada, will strive to maintain a stable relationship with the other orders of government that is based on principles of mutual respect, coexistence, and information sharing, and where applicable, one that is based on principles of collaboration and cooperation.