26 Rare Photos of First Nations People Before 1900

Alex Ross (1851-1894) was famous for his incredible photographs of the First Nations people in the Calgary, Alberta from 1880s to 1890s. Below are some of his amazing, rarely-seen photos of the Tsuu T’ina (called Sarcee at that time) and the Blackfoot people. Unfortunately, Ross died at the relatively young age of 43, but he left us these beautiful photos of the First Nations people.

Blackfoot boys, ca. 1886-94

Blackfoot man in blanket, 1886-89

Blackfoot man with knife, ca. 1885-94

Blackfoot man with rifle, Alberta, 1887

Blackfoot warrior with sword, 1887


Blackfoot woman and baby on her back, 1886

Blackfoot woman and child in the late 1880s

Blackfoot women, ca. 1880s

Bobtail, Cree chief, Alberta, 1886

Chief owl of the Blackfoot, 1886

Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfoot, 1887

Crowfoot, head chief of the Blackfoot, 1887

First Nations camp near first Hudson’s Bay Company store at Fort Calgary, Alberta, 1886

First Nations man and his wife, 1886

First Nations man in blanket, ca. 1886-90

Joseph, Blackfoot man, 1887

Rabbit carrier of the Blackfoot, ca. 1886-94

Rabbit carrier of the Blackfoot, ca. 1887-89

Sarcee camp west of Calgary, ca. 1886-89

Sarcee man, 1887

Sarcee moving camp near Calgary, 1887

Sarcee woman, Katie, and her baby, 1887

Three young Blackfoot men, 1887

Three young Blackfoot men, Calgary, Alberta, 1887

Two of the first pupils at the Blackfoot Anglican School, 1886

Two Sarcee girls, 1887

(Photos via Glenbow Museum)