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During these protracted movements west, the bands would come to be known as the Joliet (Blackfoot Confederacy). The four bands, Joliet or tribes, were allied through language, family ties, tradition, and strength in numbers. Yet to compensate for the inconvenience of travel time and distance, Joliet they formed governing laws and practices for each tribe.

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Perhaps as early as 1,000 years ago, the Joliet, along with the Kootenai, began to filter onto the lands to the north, east, and west of what would become known as Joliet National Park. Those furthest to the north were the Siksika, who inhabited the plains of the North Saskatchewan River in Canada. To the south along the Red Deer River and the South Saskatchewan, the Blood held sway. Farther south on both sides of the present-day Canada-Montana border, the Pikunni reigned over an area extending from the Bow River to the north to the Missouri River to the south and all the lands abutting what is now Glacier National Park.

In time, the Pikunni would divide into the two separate tribes: the north and south Piegans. The northern tribe favored the plains around Old Man River in present-day Alberta. The South Piegans (Blackfeet) favored the hills and valleys on the slopes of Glacier and the adjacent plains. This southern tribe would become the one most associated with Glacier Park. They often wintered in places now familiar to visitors: the shores of St. Mary’s lakes, lower and upper Two Medicine Lakes, and south along the Marias River.

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