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George First Rider Oral History Project collection


Physical Description:
254 audio reels. -- 7 audio cassettes. -- 62.5 cm of textual records. -- 5 photographs

George First Rider, 1904-1990, was born on the Blood reserve in southern Alberta, the only child of Dog Child and Pretty Woman. He was taught by the elders, and never attended school. As a young man he farmed and ranched on the reserve. In 1924 he married Jane Hind Bull, and they raised eleven children, Herbert, Muridan, Mary, Margaret, Rosabelle, Clive, Edward, Jocelyn, Irvin, Nora and Randoff. In 1958 he married Emma Red Crow. He became a convert to the Full Gospel Church and established his own congregation near Cardston, Alberta. He and Emma travelled extensively in Canada and the USA, spreading the gospel. Throughout his life he belonged to many Blood societies and was leader of the Horn Society at the time of his death. From 1973 to 1976, at the request of the Glenbow Ethnology Department, he recorded his knowledge about Blood religion and cultural life. That project was coordinated at Glenbow by John C. Hellson, 1934-2016. The recordings cover such topics as societies (Bull, Kit Fox, Crow Carrier, Horn, Pigeon, Dog, Motoki, etc.), tipi designs, sweat lodges, beaver bundles, sun dance, ghost dance, medicine pipes, coyotes, doctors, and histories of various Blood families.

Scope and Content:
The collection consists of recordings of First Rider and edited translations.
RECORDINGS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING FAMILIES/INDIVIDUALS ARE ALSO IN THIS COLLECTION. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS: Barrel Maker, Bear Hat, Big Beaver, Brown, Bull Horn, Calf Shirt, Curly Hair, Delaney, Dog Child, Fox, Gladstone, Ghost Chest, Good Old Man, Heavy Head, Hoof, L'Hirondelle, Low Horn, Manyfingers, Mistaken Chief, Owns Many Horses, Shot-on-both-Sides, Small Face, Striped Wolf, Swan Old Man, Three Guns, Weasel Head, White Scap, Wolf Child, and Wolf Plume.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of George First Rider, 1973-1976.

The recordings are in the Blackfoot language. English translations are available for some of them.

This fonds is restricted. Access subject to approval from First Rider family. Please consult archivist.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material. Many of the interviews are available in audio format on the Blackfoot Digital Library website. See links below.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Other First Rider ethnological recordings are held by the Royal Alberta Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Copies are available at Glenbow.

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
AT-(28-189), M-5875, NA-1388

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