In 1886 Walter McClintock went to northwestern Montana as a member of a U.S. Forest Service expedition. He was adopted as a son by Chief Mad Dog, the high priest of the Sun Dance, and spent the next four years living on the Blackfoot Reservation. The Old North Trail, originally published in 1910, is a record of his experiences among the Blackfeet.
William Farr is the associate director for the Humanities and Culture Center of the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana and the author of The Reservation Blackfeet, 1885–1945.
“An intriguing . . . mixture of stories, legends, and descriptions of religious rituals, all woven into [McClintock’s] own personal account of his life with the Blackfeet. He tells of being inducted into the tribe, participating in family ceremonies, and living with his adoptive family. . . . Other times McClintock takes a serious anthropological approach as he describes the social customs of the tribe, including many of their songs, and catalogs the names, uses, and preparations of various herbs and medicinal plants. [The Old North Trail] has much more personal detail about Blackfoot daily life than can be found in any other sources from that period.”—Natural History
“A valuable reference on Blackfeet customs and mythology.”—Journal of the West