“Hugh Dempsey brings together the histories, historical actors, complex motivations, and, most importantly, the voices of the Native people in The Great Blackfoot Treaties. ” –Rosalyn La Pier (Blackfeet/Métis), University of Montana

In this timely volume, the product of over sixty years of research by Canada’s most prolific writer of Blackfoot history, Hugh Dempsey traces the centuries-long evolution of Blackfoot territorial negotiations—from inter-tribal treaties, to treaties signed with the United States government, to the numbered treaties with Canada that would eventually result in the loss of their lands and freedom. Zeroing in on Treaty Seven, Dempsey provides a nuanced account of the pivotal 1877 agreement that will challenge common assumptions and add vital perspective to our understanding of present-day Canada–First Nations relations.


“Hugh Dempsey is the preeminent chronicler of the historical relationship between Alberta's aboriginal peoples, primarily Blackfoot, and settlers. Many authors and academics have covered this territory, but none have done so with Dempsey's empathy and understanding of both sides, combined with a flair for telling a great story. ” —Tadzio Richards, Alberta Views

The Great Blackfoot Treaties is a gift we should all appreciate. It not only draws together in masterful fashion the scattered extant evidence, both oral and documentary, Native and white, that Hugh Dempsey has so assiduously collected, but presents a historical picture that is so balanced, so clearly written, and so insightful, particularly from the Blackfoot side, as to be conclusive. ” —William E. Farr, Professor, O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana

“Dempsey writes with authority . .. His writing is detailed but accessible and helps to illuminate this important chapter of our history. ” —Nelle Oosterom, Canada's History

“Dempsey’s eloquent display of storytelling captures the spirit and intent of both the Blackfoot leaders and government agencies. A must-read for historians and their students. ” —Annette Bruised Head, Kainai High School Principal, Blood Tribe

“A great read by the Dean of Alberta historians. ” —Donald B. Smith, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Calgary

“[A] vital and nuanced recounting. ” —Gordon E. Tolton, author of Healy's West