Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Stoney are often confused in the literature with the Assiniboine from whom they evolved. They became an independent people during the eighteenth century. The Stoney are Siouan-speaking and are located in the northwestern portion of the Plains/Prairie on five reserves in Alberta, Canada. Traditional economic pursuits were hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering.


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North America --Plains and Plateau



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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection, and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Stoney file consists of eight documents, all in English, covering a time span from the eighteenth century to the 1970s. Although most of these works deal with specific bands of Stoney, the studies by Larner (1976, no. 15), and Snow (1977, no. 27) will probably provide the best overview of these people. Larner presents a brief general ethnography of the Alberta Stoney, while Snow's work centering on the Morley Reserve, located west of Calgary in Alberta, is an in-depth ethno-historical study of the Stoney over a period of 100 years (1876-1976). This work describes the traditional life of the Stoney prior to white contact, and the period following Treaty No. 7, with the emphasis on relations with the federal/provincial government in Canada. Snow, a Stony chief, is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, and a great-great grandson of one of the signatories of Treaty No. 7. Andersen's works (1968, 1972, 1970, nos. 2-4), all deal with the Alexis band located at Lac Ste. Anne in Alberta, and are primarily historical in content with some inter-mixture of ethnography. The studies by MacEwan (1971, nos. 20-22), are biographical sketches of three prominent Stoney men -- Hector Crawler, Walking Buffalo, and Bearspaw. MacEwan was a former Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta.

Because of the confusion in ethnic identification between the Assiniboin and Stoney in the literature, where cultural data may overlap in some of the documents in the file, the reader is advised to consult also the Assiniboine file in the eHRAF collection. This is of particular importance in for two works in the Assiniboine file, Lowie (1909, no. 17), and Parks and DeMallie (1994, no. 30), where there are distinct data on both Stoney and Assiniboine.

This culture summary, including the synopsis and indexing notes, were written by John Beierle in January 2002.

AKIEITA -- soldiers or camp guards -- categories 625, 701; as a military society -- categories 575, 701

counting coup -- category 555

medicine bundle -- category 778

soldier's lodge -- category 344

Sun Dance -- category 796

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