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The Tsuu T'ina Nation (also Tsu T’ina, Tsuut’ina, Tsúùtínà - "a great number of people";[1] formerly Sarcee, Sarsi) is a First Nation in Canada. Their territory is located on the Indian reserve Tsuu T'ina Nation 145, whose east side is adjacent to the southwest city limits of Calgary, Alberta. The land area of the reserve is 283.14 km² (109.32 sq mi), and it had a population of 1,982 in the Canada 2001 Census. The land is a former Canadian Army training camp, active from 1910-1996, when the land was turned over to the Tsuu T'ina Nation. The Tsuu T'ina people have formerly been called the Sarsi or Sarcee, words which are believed to have been derived from a Blackfoot word meaning stubborn ones. This is in reference to territorial conflict between the Tsuu T'ina and the Blackfoot Confederacy. The term is now viewed as offensive by most of the Tsuu T'ina.

The proximity of the territory to the city of Calgary has led to disagreement over the city's plans to construct the western leg of a ring road, which, according to city planners, has to pass through Tsuu T'ina land in order to avoid environmentally sensitive areas. As of 2009 a referendum by the tribe has rejected the ring road. Some are upset by this, stating that it has resulted in 40 years of lost planning and creates more harm to the environment,[2] others view it as a triumph both environmentally and for the Nation. Another controversy stems from plans by the Tsuu T'ina to construct a casino just outside city limits. The land was once located within the city, but was ceded back to the nation in the 1990s. This has sparked concern from Calgary residents worried about increased traffic.

History of the Tsuu T'ina

The Tsuu T'ina are an Athapaskan group, once part of the more northerly Danezaa ('Beaver Indians') nation, who migrated south onto the plains during the 1700s, prior to any written records of the area. Tsuu T'ina oral history has preserved the memory of the separation.[3][4]

It was undoubtedly from the Blackfoot that the Sarcee acquired most of their Plains Indian culture. Although in most respects the Sarcee are typical Northern Plains Indians, their language remains pure Athapaskan to this day. As such it is closely related to the languages of the Dine groups of northern Canada and Alaska and also the Navaho and Apache languages of the American Southwest.

They were famous among other northern Plains tribes for their tanned bison robes and fine buckskins, likewise their handcrafted saddles and cherry wood bows. As early as 1909 the Tsuu T'ina were noted as farmers and cattlemen, and they continue in these occupations at the present time.


See also


External links

  • The Tsuu T'ina Home Page
  • Sarcee (Tsúùtínà): Article in the Canadian Encyclopedia Online
  • Community Profile: Tsuu T'ina Nation 145 (Sarcee 145) Indian Reserve, Alberta; Statistics Canada
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