Thursday, November 09, 2006


The above photo is of some of the people who were involved in the initial preparations for the 2006 Blackfeet Sundance. From left to right: Tyler Many White Horses, Clayton ArrowTopKnot (Ohtikunni), Paul HairyBull, Calvin Tatsey (me), Greg Tatsey (my son), and a midget who'd wandered over from the roadway, ha, ha, naw, his name is (Clay Flammond).

A Holy-Blackfeet Bundle, the Natoas (Sundance Bundle), a.k.a. the Many White Horses Bundle, which hasn’t been used for a Sundance for seventy-seven years, was used during this past June, of 2006. The last time that a Sundance was held under the authority of this bundle, was in 1929.

There are other Sundances that occur here annually; however, they are not genuine-Blackfeet Sundances. Not genuine because of the bundles. One bundle is of Cree origin, another is of Sioux, and so forth… There’s absolutely nothing wrong with their power or medicine, they’re just not Blackfeet, and each bundle and its owner receives the utmost of respect and honor, of which they deserve.

To put everything into context before I go any further, that’s like using Catholic symbolic representation or protocol to conduct Pentecostal services, or Pentecostal to conduct Baptist services.

My Nawtoo Ohtikunni (Holy-Medicine Chief) Clayton ArrowTopKnot, is the current- owner of the Many White Horses Bundle; Clayton was also the Head Medicine Man of the 2006 ceremony.

The Sundance of 1929 was held on Two Medicine River; the Sundance of 2006 was also held on Two Medicine. The sponsor of the 2006 Sundance was, Mr. Terry Wellman, a well known and respected, local business owner and a member of the Blackfeet Tribe.

The next consecutive Sundance will be held on July 6, of 2007. The day might change slightly, but it will happen.

This year’s ceremony was attended by few, when it should have been attended by every traditional man and woman from our reservation. From what I’ve been advised, politics got in the way. Certain traditional people were whispering to others that if they had anything to do with it, that they would get hurt, because, “…it was ‘real medicine’ that was being used [it was real medicine and it will be the same next year and the year after that and the year after that]…” Clayton questioned what those people had been involved with previously. Our comments were of the same nature; we both wondered what they, being traditional and heavily involved-in traditional-ceremonial activities, had gotten used to, for them to fear a real Blackfeet Sundance ceremony. That reminded us of something that a dilettante would say.