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Beneath the Backbone of the WorldBlackfoot People and the North American Borderlands, 1720-1877$
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Ryan Hall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655154

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655154.001.0001

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Now They Will Pretend to Equal Us

Now They Will Pretend to Equal Us

(p.65) Chapter Three Now They Will Pretend to Equal Us
Beneath the Backbone of the World

Ryan Hall

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes Blackfoot responses to increasing colonial activity on the northwest plains and Rocky Mountains between 1806 and 1821. Ascending the Missouri River to their south, the American expedition of Lewis and Clark circumvented the Blackfoot to open ties with Native nations in the intermountain West. British explorer David Thompson did the same in the north, accessing the mountains near the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River. Blackfoot people responded to these invasions with a targeted campaign of diplomacy and conflict, including blockades of key mountain passes, that severely limited American, Canadian, and British ambitions in the region for a generation. These conflicts also led to an overly simplistic depiction of Blackfoot “hostility” that lingers to this day.

Keywords:   Lewis and Clark, David Thompson, Diplomacy, Conflict, Mountain Passes

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