Open Site Navigation

A

Across The Mountain | SaatohtThis is an English surname received at Tatsikihkimikoi
00:00 / 00:03

Surnames

Learn the meanings and origins of traditional Blackfoot surnames
AdobeStock_368721319.jpeg

BLACKFOOT 

SURNAMES

B

Bad Arm | IikapostsiThis name describes the bearer, who, when he was small, injured one arm, which eventually grew to be shorter than the other arm.
00:00 / 00:03
Bad Man | Saommitsitapi This is a war name referring to raidingsurname received at Tatsikihkimikoi
00:00 / 00:03
Bear | Kiaiyo This is a vision name where a bear approached this man; the person could also have been a fearless individual, such as the bear
00:00 / 00:02
Bear Shin Bone | Kiaiyo’tsiinai This is understood to be a reflection of the owner’s bravery as the bear is a brave and ferocious animal. This is a war name
00:00 / 00:03
Bellows | Kaksiipssi Origin unknown
00:00 / 00:03
Big Head | Omahkihkiniiawa This name is a description of the person’s physical characteristics
00:00 / 00:03
Big Nose | Omahkssksisi This is another descriptive name recalling how the person looked
00:00 / 00:03
Big Sorrel Horse | Omohkotsimio’taki This is a war name referring to the capture of a big sorrel horse in a raid
00:00 / 00:04
Big Swallow | Omahksiiksikapaamssi This is a vision name incorporating the swallow
00:00 / 00:04
Big Throat | Omahkaokomaan This name does not refer to the throat but to the region of the body which is just below the chin
00:00 / 00:03
Big Wolf | Omohkokoiyi This is a vision name referring to the wolf
00:00 / 00:03
Bird | Piikihsi A bird must have been in a vision in this case and talked to the bearer allowing him to use his name
00:00 / 00:02
Black Antelope | Sikawakasi This is a vision name involving a black antelope
00:00 / 00:03
Black Face | Siksski This name recalls a physical characteristic of the bearer probably given in childhood
00:00 / 00:03
Black Forehead | Sikonskiwa This is another name given in childhood describing how the person looked
00:00 / 00:03
Black Horse | Sikimiotasi The bearer had many black horses in his herd
00:00 / 00:03
Black Plume | Siksapo’p An aged eagle’s plumage grows darker with age. This is a name bestowed on the bearer wishing dignity and old age on him
00:00 / 00:03
Black Rabbit | Sikaattsista This is a vision name recalling the bush rabbit
00:00 / 00:03
Black Water | Sikaohki This may refer to an alcoholic beverage which this person drank
00:00 / 00:03
Black White Man | Siksapiikoan This is a childhood name recalling the bearer’s skin colour
00:00 / 00:03
Blood | Kainaikoan Origin unknown
00:00 / 00:02
Bottle | Sakokoto This may have reference to ice, but this is not confirmed
00:00 / 00:02
Brave Rock | Aksistoohkotok This is a war name based on bravery. This man may have been so brave his body seemed invincible like a rock when he went to war
00:00 / 00:03
Brown Weasel | O’taawaThis is a vision name referring to the weasel when it is brown in the summertime
00:00 / 00:03
Bruised Head | Iinokihkini This refers to an injury suffered by the bearer
00:00 / 00:03
Buckskin (Buckskin Rider) | Issikowasiohkitopi This should have been “Buckskin Rider.” This is a war name whereby a buckskin was taken in a raid
00:00 / 00:03
Bull Calf | Stamiksonistai tThis name refers to white bison, which the ancient people did not ea
00:00 / 00:03
Bull Child | Stamiksiipokai This is a southern Peigan name
00:00 / 00:03
Bull Shields | Stamiksaawootaan The people used buffalo hide to make their shields. This name recalls this and is a war name
00:00 / 00:03
Bull Shields | Stamiksaawootaan The people used buffalo hide to make their shields. This name recalls this and is a war name
00:00 / 00:03

C

Calf Robe | Onistahsiyaan Aissksstaki Given a robe which looked like or resembled the skin of the aissksstaki. The closest to this was a bison’s calf’s hide
00:00 / 00:03
Calling Last | Sakowa’paohkomi This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:04
Chief Body | Naminaisstom Based on uncertainty where an old man on a war raid with many young men, spotted a single member of the enemy hiding in a hollow in the earth.
00:00 / 00:03
Chief Calf | Ninaonistai This is a name referring to people renowned for their war deeds. This is a war name.
00:00 / 00:03
Chief Moon | Ninaikiisom It may refer to a sacred thing.
00:00 / 00:03
Coal | Sikohkotok This must refer to the person being born near where Lethbridge is today and we have some coal.
00:00 / 00:02
Coming Singer | Aisstainihki This is a vision name recalling a spirit which approached this individual.
00:00 / 00:03
Crane Chief | SiikaminaiA young boy had befriended a crane and raised it as a pet.
00:00 / 00:03
Crazy Bull | Mattsiistamik This name which is a war name recalls the renegade bison bull which was so fierce, he did not live with the other bison
00:00 / 00:03
Crop Eared Wolf | Makoiyopisoki This is an animal name noting a particular physical characteristic of the wolf.
00:00 / 00:04
Cross Child | Minikssitsimaan This name probably refers to the parents of this child who were always fighting that the child was born in anger.
00:00 / 00:04
Crow Chief | Maisstoina This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03
Crow Spreads His Wings | Maisstoikaniksaipoiyi This is a vision name incorporating the stance of the crow as it is on the verge of flight.
00:00 / 00:05
Crying Head | Assanio’tokaan What we think about we have in our mind. This person probably cried a lot as a baby.
00:00 / 00:03
Curley Rider | Mookoiyohkitopi This person’s favourite horse had curly hair.
00:00 / 00:04

D

Day Chief | KsistsikominaawaThis name may refer to “Day” but more likely to “Thunder.”
00:00 / 00:03
Day Rider | KaatsikomohkitopiA Cree Indian who had been out hunting had tethered his horse while preparing the two deer he had killed.
00:00 / 00:03

E

Eagle Bear | Piitaohkiaiyo This name refers to the eagle and the bear. The combination of the two majestic animals makes for a good name.
00:00 / 00:03
Eagle Child | Piitaipokaawa The bearer must have been a pampered child, a child overly protected by his parents.
00:00 / 00:03
Eagle Plume | Piitaisaapo’p An eagle’s plume must been worn by a enemy which was subsequently taken by someone in this person’s family in war.
00:00 / 00:03
Eagle Speaker | Piitai’poiyiwaThis is probably due to the manner in which this person spoke. Or , it could be that he could actually talk to the eagle.
00:00 / 00:03
Eagle Tailfeathers | Soowa’tsiinai This is probably a war name which was in reference to someone taking these from an enemy.
00:00 / 00:04

F

Fair Brown Weasel | Nittai This name refers to the weasel in the spring time when it changes its colour to brown.
00:00 / 00:04
First Charger | Iikamo’tsstsoi This is a war name referring to the person who charged the enemy first before anyone else.
00:00 / 00:03
First Rider | Matommohkitopi This is a war name referring to this man’s ability to be the first person to capture an enemy’s horse and ride it.
00:00 / 00:04
Fox | Ottaatoiyi This name was given to Makkaisto when he went to Dunbow School.
00:00 / 00:03

G

Gambler | Aikahtsi This name denotes a habit which this man had.
00:00 / 00:02
Good Dagger | Ahssimaki This name refers to how this person stabbed an enemy many times as if he really enjoyed doing it.
00:00 / 00:03
Good Prairie Hen | Matsiikitoki This is a vision name incorporating the prairie chicken.
00:00 / 00:04
Good Rider | Mattsohkitopi This is a war name which probably refers to a magnificent horse which he got in a raid.
00:00 / 00:03
Goodstriker | Ahsowaiyaki This is a war name referring to how the man struck the enemy.
00:00 / 00:03
Gros Ventre Boy In the old days, the Gros Ventre Indians were our allies and our friends. This man may have been a Gros Ventre
00:00 / 00:03

H

Hairy Bull | Immoiyiistamik Origin unknown. Must have referenced an extremely hairy bull.
00:00 / 00:03
Heavy Head | Issokihkini This may be in reference to a physical characteristic, how a person looked.
00:00 / 00:03
Heavy Runner | Issokoiyomahkaawa This name refers to the tracks made by the tail of a cougar. It does not mean “heavy runner”.
00:00 / 00:03
Heavy Shields | Issokoiyawootaan This may refer to a shield ornamented with the part of a cougar. It must have been a vision name.
00:00 / 00:04
Hind Bull | SakoiyistamikThere was a misinterpretation in the translation. Rather than “hind” bull it should have been “late” or “last” bull.
00:00 / 00:03
Hind Man | Kakoiyinai This name must mean that this person was always late or last to get things done.
00:00 / 00:03
Holy Singer | Naatowainihki This man may have been the one who sang all the holy songs in the sacred ceremonies. He came to be known by this.
00:00 / 00:03
Holy White Man | Natoiyaapiikoan This is a dream name where Anattsipistohkomi saw a black robe (priest) in his dreams.
00:00 / 00:03
Hoof | Sistsini This man was the father of Soiyiikaksin.
00:00 / 00:02
Hungry Crow | Maistoonootsi The name may have been an endearing childhood name where the child was called this as a result of his being hungry like a crow.
00:00 / 00:03
Hunt | Naatsikapotamiso There is no similarity between the English and the Blackfoot here. Meaning unknown.
00:00 / 00:03

I

Iron Horn | Miksskimmiotskinaiyi This is a name having to do with bravery in battle.
00:00 / 00:04
Iron Shirt | Iiksskimmmisoka’simi This is a vision name where some metal adorned a man’s shirt. had been out hunting had tethered his horse while preparing the two deer he had killed.
00:00 / 00:04

K

Knife | Isttowani This person was never anywhere without his knife.
00:00 / 00:02

L

Little Bear | Kinaksipakksikoiyi Meaning unknown.
00:00 / 00:04
Little Man | Iinakitapi Translation into English could have been “small person” rather than “little man”. This name probably describes the bearer of this name.
00:00 / 00:03
Little Shields | Iinakawo’taana This name resulted from this person using a particularly small shield in battle and establishing for himself a reputation as a fierce warrior.
00:00 / 00:03
Long Time Squirrel | Misami’kai’siwa This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:04
Low Horn | Iikaisskini This name refers to cattle where the horns on this particular animal were shaped forward on the head. (It may refer to the longhorn).
00:00 / 00:03

P

Panther Bone | Kaataihkiitowa This translation of this name has no resemblance to the Blackfoot name. This is childhood name.
00:00 / 00:03
Plain Woman | Ako’taaki The first part of theme means “something strong, something important.” It means that this man was very good in doing duties ordinarily associated with women
00:00 / 00:03
Plaited Hair | Akaiyamihtsinimaan This is a war name recalling the scalp taken from a Cree Indian which had many braids or plaited hair in it.
00:00 / 00:03
Plume | Saapo’pThis is a war name where a person had taken an eagle’s plume from the headgear of an enemy. Eventually he bestowed the name on his son
00:00 / 00:02
Prairie Chicken | Kiitokihpi This is a vision name meaning “prairie chicken dancer.”
00:00 / 00:03
Prairie Hen | Saokikiitoki This is probably a mistake in translation.
00:00 / 00:04

O

Old Shoes | Akaitsikin This may refer to a brave going to war wearing old moccasins. His companions chided him in jest for this.
00:00 / 00:03
Old Woman | Siksikaippitaki This person was a man. Not known the derivation of this name.
00:00 / 00:03
Owns Different Horses | Piowakaota’siwa Derivation unknown. Maybe this man had many horses but not one of these was outstanding.
00:00 / 00:04

W

Weasel Bear | Apaohkiaiyowa The weasel is a ferocious animal. If it were a larger animal it would probably be the most formidable animal around.
00:00 / 00:03
Weasel Fat | Apaissis The fat from a killed weasel may have been used for some special purpose because of his incredible audacity as a fighter.
00:00 / 00:03
Weasel Head | Apao’tokaan This is a name which has been handed down for many generations. The derivation is unknown.
00:00 / 00:03
Weasel Mocassin | Apaitsikin In the old days, the most prestigious warriors adorned their moccasins with weasel skins.
00:00 / 00:03
Weasel Tail | Apaohsoiyis We do not remove the tail of the fur of the weasel. The tails are stuffed to prevent them from shrinking. This may be a war name indicating a prize taken from the enemy.
00:00 / 00:03
White Feathers | Apohsowaatsis This does not refer to the eagle but some other bird. It is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03
White Man | Napikoana This may refer to the person having very light-coloured skin like a white man.
00:00 / 00:03
White Man Left | Naapiya’ksisa This refers to a left-handed person who may have been a white man.
00:00 / 00:03
White Quills | Apikaiyis This is probably a dream or vision name referring to the porcupine.
00:00 / 00:03
Willows | Piinootsipissko This indicates the area where this person was born.
00:00 / 00:03
Wings | Iiminniwa English name was “Emil.” Because there is no “L” sound in Blackfoot, the man’s parents could not pronounce his English name properly. Instead of “Emil” they said “Iiminniwa.”
00:00 / 00:03
Wolf Child | Makoiyiipoka This may be a name reflecting the quality of the person’s life.
00:00 / 00:03
Wolf Plume | Makoiyiisaapo’p A wolf skin may have been decorated with plumes. This was probably taken from an enemy. It could also have been a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03

T

Tailfeathers | Sosa’tsis .This is a war name probably recalling an act of bravery when tailfeathers were taken from the enemy
00:00 / 00:03
Takes the Gun Strong | Iisinaawa .This is a war name. It refers to this Blood Indian who was cornered by the Crow Indians.
00:00 / 00:04
Tall Man | Spitaikoan This is a childhood name recalling a physical characteristic of the bearer.
00:00 / 00:03
Tallow | Otsikssis This name is in reference to the fat around the bison’s stomach which was valued as a delicacy by the people.
00:00 / 00:03
Three Persons | Niokskaitapi This is a war name probably indicating the number of people this person killed in a particular raid.
00:00 / 00:03

M

Many bears | Pakksikoiyakaiyim There were many animals which bestowed their powers on the people. In this instance, many bears may have appeared in the man’s dreams.
00:00 / 00:04
Many Chiefs | AkainnaiThis name probably means that this individual went to war against an enemy where there where many chiefs
00:00 / 00:03
Many Feathers | Akaikkimaaniwa There were many birds which bestowed their powers on this man. Because of this, the man led a charmed life as a warrior.
00:00 / 00:03
Many Grey Horses | Akaissikapio’taki The bounty which this person acquired in a raid included many horses which were the colour grey.
00:00 / 00:04
Medicine Crane | Ihkitopio’tapatsiikami The “siikam” was a crane which it was believed preceded a war party as it went and reported on the enemy’s activities and position.
00:00 / 00:05
Melting Tallow | Siikihsaksin The name recalls the practice of staking the raw fat of the bison’s stomach near the fire. As the fat became hot, grease would form and flow off.
00:00 / 00:03
Mistaken Chief | Pahtsiinai This name recalls how this person mistakenly took comrade’s weapon during the heat of battle thinking it belonged to an enemy.
00:00 / 00:03
Morning Bird | Apinakoisistsi .This is a dream or vision name where a particular kind of bird gave its powers to this person
00:00 / 00:04
Morning Owl | Apinakoisipistto Owls gave names to many people. this particular name may have come from an owl giving its powers to this man in the morning.
00:00 / 00:04
Mountain Horse | Miistatsomitai This is a war name recalling a raid and horses were taken from a mountain tribe.
00:00 / 00:03

R

Rabbit | Aatsistaiyi This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:02
Red Plume | Miiksiikam This is a vision name where the crane had ochre in its plumage.
00:00 / 00:03
Rider | Ihkitopi This is a war name where the person had been successful and returned from war riding a captured pony.
00:00 / 00:03
Riding At The Door | Iitsohksiksistohkitopi A war name referring to this person who had succeeded in taking an enemy’s horse which had been tied very close to the doorway of the enemy’s lodge
00:00 / 00:04
Round Nose | Komsksisi This is a childhood name referring to a physical characteristic.
00:00 / 00:03

N

Nice Cutter | Saitsiisitai This is a mistaken translation. What is actually refers to is this person cutting an enemy’s body or causing a break in the skin.
00:00 / 00:03
No Runner | Onistaomahkai This name should been “Running White Buffalo.”
00:00 / 00:03

S

Sarcee | Sahsiiponihtsii Meaning unknown.
00:00 / 00:03
Scraping White | Apihtawatomoi This is probably refers to the extreme white colour of this person’s clothing resulting from his wife’s diligent preparation in the tanning of the hides
00:00 / 00:03
Shot Both Sides | Aatso’taowa Red Crow had to war in Crow country. In a weak moment, he fell asleep and found himself surrounded by the enemy. and was shot at from all sides
00:00 / 00:04
Shouting (Shouting from the Midst) | Iitsspiaipapisam This is probably another war name where this person shouted in the midst of battle where he was probably surrounded by the enemy.
00:00 / 00:03
Singer (Sang Three Songs) | Niokskainnihki This name was contracted in translation. It was probably associated with a sacred ceremony.
00:00 / 00:03
Small Eyes | Iiwapini This is another childhood name recalling a physical characteristic of the owner at that time.
00:00 / 00:03
Small Face | Pokskia’ki This surname resulted from a woman’s name which was a descriptive name of the person when she was an infant.
00:00 / 00:03
Soup | Koopis This man was raised by a foster father while he was still nursing as a baby. He was raised by his new father with the soup made from animal meat.
00:00 / 00:02
Spear Chief | Samakiina This is a war name referring to a lance or spear taken from the enemy.
00:00 / 00:03
Spotted Bull | Stamiksiikihsipimi A buffalo can be dark brown, a yellowish tan colour, or, it can be white. This name probably refers to all of these colours. It could be a war name or a vision name.
00:00 / 00:04
Spotted Eagle | Piitaikihtsipimi This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03
Stabbs Down | IitsstsimakiThis is a war name. It recalls the Blood Indian being crazed with the lust for blood coming upon fallen enemy and stabbing him continuously until he is completely dead
00:00 / 00:04
Standing Alone | Nitsitapaipoiyi This refers to the person losing his horses and wandering alone looking for them. He was a fast runner and could easily outrun a horse.
00:00 / 00:04
Steel | Iskima’tsisThis is a war name probably referring to a metal knife taken from an enemy
00:00 / 00:03
Strangling Wolf | Makoiyiistapistaan People feared the wolf because people he bit lost their minds. This name refers to this man’s feat of actually capturing a wolf and killing it by strangulation.
00:00 / 00:04
Striped Wolf | Kihtsipapiisi This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03
Sweet Grass | Katoiyisa This is a mistaken translation. The name refers to a blood clot taken from a downed bison by an old man.
00:00 / 00:03

Y

Yellow Feet | Otahkoikawa This is a childhood name. It may have recalled the child defecating on his feet when was small.
00:00 / 00:03
Yellow Wings | Ootahkoikanikiisoiyii This recalls a certain kind of bird yellowish in colour. This is a vision name.
00:00 / 00:04
Young Pine | Assohtoka This recalls a type of pine tree which does not grow very tall. It usually grows away from the other trees of the forest. This was probably a vision name.
00:00 / 00:03
ASK US ANYTHING!

Thanks for submitting!

© 2022 by Ninastako Cultural Centre.

 Created by Daniel Wevers.

Buy Our Book