Tsuu T’ina Tribe and their Condition Today

Tsuu T’ina Tribe and their Condition Today

Tsuu T’ina tribe, also known as the Sarcee, is part of the Athabaskan nation (Jenness 12). Among the Athapaskan-speaking people such as the Navajo and Apache, the Tsuu T’ina have managed to keep most of their traditions even though their culture has evolved to be unique compared to the other Athapaskan-speaking people. The southern city limits of Calgary, Alberta, are connected to the reserve of the Tsuu T’ina nation. The tribe was once a part of the Danezaa nation who were located to the north but later on migrated to the southern plains (Treaty 7 Management Corporation 2016). The origin of the name Sarcee is from the word Siksika or Blackfoot meaning hardiness and boldness. The Sarcee also refer to their own as Tsuut’ina which translates to ‘many people’ (Native Languages of the Americas 2016).

The migration of the Tsuu T’ina tribe took place during the late 1700’s before there were written records of the tribe (Jenness 23). However, most of the memory about the separation is preserved in oral history. The migration into the plains was followed by the signing of a treaty by five signatory tribes. Tsuu T’ina, Kainai, and Siksika were given a twenty mile by forty miles common reserve that ran from the northern side of the Bow to the junction of the Red Deer River (Jenness 27). The Tsuu T’ina was however dissatisfied by sharing the land with the Siksika. Their head chief advocated for a separation and by 1883, they managed to acquire their reserve (Wood 240).


The location of the Tsuu T’ina tribe reserve is to the southwest city of Calgary, Alberta. From the Canadian census result conducted in 2001, the population of this tribe is estimated to be around two thousand in number (the actual census figure was 1,982 people) (Statistics Canada 7). However, in 2015, the report by the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development identified 2,259 Tsuut’ina as registered in Canada. The location of the reserve is on a former Canadian army training camp, and it covers an area of about two hundred and eighty square kilometers.

The success of most of the Native American tribes was measured by effective control of tribal lands (Jenness 13). The concept of tribal land and its control has become a present issue elevating the levels of misunderstandings that the tribal communities face today. In the modern world, the success of the Tsuut’ina can be seen in different economic sectors such as real estate building and cattle keeping (Native Languages of the Americas 2016). Traditionally, the Sarcee culture viewed success in practices such as hunting of buffaloes in summer and engaging in different cultural festivities.

The Tsuu T’ina tribe has faced some levels of prejudice as their standards of civilization judge them. To a larger extent, the prejudice is as a result of the failure to recognize that each culture is unique depending on its tribal group (Jenness 34). The location of the Tsuu T’ina tribal reserve is also a major setback to the tribe regarding the attraction of commerce. The tribe has also suffered from the threat of potential extinction since the number of people speaking and identifying themselves with the native language has reduced to threatening levels over the years (Statistics Canada 11).

Currently, the tribe has experienced growth and success in the different economic activities that it engages in. For instance, the tribe operates golf courses and business parks, residential development and a casino. There has also been an endless sprawl of suburbs both in the northern and the western parts of Calgary. Moreover, the city has experienced a steady growth in the population size, and the trend is expected to continue over the some few years (Brooke 2000).


Works cited

Brooke, James. Tsuu T’ina Journal; Indians Stalk a Silent, Deadly Enemy in the Prairie, 2000. Web. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/19/world/tsuu-t-ina-journal-indians-stalk-a-silent-deadly-enemy-in-the-prairie.html

Jenness, Diamond. The Sarcee Indians of Alberta. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1978. Print.

Native Languages of the Americas. Sarcee Culture and History, 2016. Web. Retrieved from: http://www.native-languages.org/sarcee_culture.htm

Statistics Canada. 2006 Aboriginal Population Profile for Calgary. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division, 2009. Print. Article (Statistics Canada).

Treaty 7 Management Corporation. Tsuu T’ina Nation (Sarcee), 2016. Web. Retrieved from: http://www.treaty7.org/tsuutinanation.aspx

Wood, Patricia K. “The ‘Sarcee War’: Fragmented citizenship and the city.” Space and Polity 10.3 (2006): 229-242.


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