skip to Main Content

Narcisse Blood “Tatsikiistamik” (1954-2015)

Narcisse Blood “Tatsikiistamik”

(to be recognized collaboratively with Michael Green)

Narcisse Blood (Tatsikiistamik) was a Blackfoot/Niitsitapi Traditional Spiritual Elder who was passionate about preserving and sharing traditional Blackfoot spiritual ways and cultural heritage.

Narcisse’s formal education began at the age of six at the St. Mary Residential School until the age of 17. In 1973, he won the prestigious Tom Longboat Award for young Alberta athletes. Narcisse received his post-secondary education at the University of Lethbridge and as a visiting student at the University of Alberta.

His impressive work history began right after high school as Supervisor at St. Mary’s Residential School. Then his work began at the National level with the Assembly of First Nations, the World Council of Indigenous People with Marie Small Face-Marule and George Manual. Later choosing to work closer to home, Narcisse became the Treaty 7 Vice-President of the Indian Association of Alberta. He served as a member on the Blood Tribe Chief and Council for 10 and one half years. He was the former director of Kainai Studies at the Red Crow Community College where he is recognized as an Eminent Scholar and where he was employed as a researcher and instructor.

Narcisse was a tremendous source of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. Narcisse was a big influence in the development of the current Repatriation Act in the province of Alberta. This also resulted in his involvement from 1990-2014 with repatriation of many of the Blood Tribe’s ceremonial artifacts and ceremonial bundles from museums in Canada and the United States. He was also very involved in museum visits to the United Kingdom, including the British Museum, London, Pitt Rivers in Oxford, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, England, to do an inventory of the Blackfoot collection that is in storage in these museums.   In visiting these places he was also a guest lecturer at Pitt Rivers, University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Exeter, England.

As a result of his work on repatriation, he was awarded the prestigious Governor General’s Meritorious Award posthumously in 2018.

In 2014, Narcisse  (Middle Bull) collaborated with Michael Green (Elk Shadow / Pona Ko’taksi,)and others on the ongoing theatre project called “Making Treaty 7,” that tells the story of that historic agreement, and investigates the results and implications over 100 years later through music and dance, storytelling, and performance. It was an important initiative around reconciliation, promoting healing by transferring indigenous knowledge and culture through the arts. Middle Bull played a critical role as the Cultural and Spiritual Advisor to “Making Treaty 7”.

Narcisse was very involved in the traditional societies of his community. He was a member of the Iitskinaiksi (Sacred Horn Society) with his wife and his longtime friend Giles. Then he was the owner of a thunder pipe bundle (Ninaimskaiksi) with his wife, his son Myles and daughter Michelle. He was really involved in the traditional Blackfoot ways, which is a testament to why his children and grandchildren have already taken on a significant responsibility to carry the Blackfoot culture forward to the next generation. Narcisse and his wife presented their children and grandchildren to the world the same way he presented the culture, his knowledge and resources, with such compassion, pride and joy, love and respect.

Narcisse was a Blackfoot scholar, philosopher, teacher, activist, ceremonialist, family man and friend.

Back To Top