The Ways of My Grandmothers by Beverly Hungry-Wolf

The Ways of My Grandmothers by Beverly Hungry-WolfBacon Phat
00:00 / 1:07:15

The Ways of My Grandmothers is the amazing book about life among the Blackfoot Nation we didn't know we were missing. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Sasha snowboarding, skiing, and going to J tree

  • Rachel Khoo

  • Julia's pâte

  • Haggis

  • Buttermilk fried rabbit

  • Tan rabbit hides


Show notes:

The episode

20:16: Everyone in the Blackfeet had multiple grandmothers: all the female elders are grandmothers, and men had multiple wives


23:25: Sundance


26:07: Medicine pipe bundles


35:25: Running eagle


37:12: Babies in cradleboards in tipis


39:12: Tanning hides was done by women 


43:20: Story of Madame Boisvert who became a man


48:00: Story of the woman marrying poop


51:00: Blackfoot foods and cooking: PHAT is super important


53:50: Story of Kutoyis, who was born from a blood clot


60:46: Tipis are painted and have to be transferred


Beverly Hungry Wolf was born in 1950 in Alberta, Canada and grew up on the Blood Indian reserve. After leaving the reservation and going to university, Hungry Wolf returned to her tribe and decided to record the wisdom of her elders before it became lost forever. This book is a collection of stories told by her elders and serves as education for both young Blackfeet Indians and non-Indians looking for an alternative to the Western version of Indian history and culture. (For Beverly's tribe of the Blackfeet, anyway.)


We love this book because it allows us a glimpse into the capricious side of indigenous life. The stereotype is often of the austere, serious Indian who spends all her time procuring food and fighting rival tribes. The assumption is that without modern technology and Western education, Indians must be bland and devoid of culture, their defining features their dwellings and clothing. Imagine if we were reduced to polyester and plaster. Instead, through this book, we see the day-to-day lives of Indians, how they entertained themselves, and their senses of humor. A must read for anyone curious about the cultures the United States has very nearly destroyed.