Many Guns Ranch is owned and operated by Blackfoot historian Jeanette Many Guns. When you visit, you’ll be immersed in Blackfoot worldviews -- listen to the language where it was intended for use (on the land) and experience the foods of the people. Siksika has natural resources the Blackfoot benefit from even today. Depending on the season, guests will be invited to pick berries, sweetgrass or mint.
About Jeanette Many Guns
Jeanette Many Guns has more than 30 years experience in the tourism industry. She has educated more than one million people through the Siksika Interpretation Centre in Banff, Alberta where she volunteered for ten years. Jeanette and her father set up a tipi in front of the building as a traditional Blackfoot living corridor where guests experienced traditional dance and drum performances daily. She also spent time navigating and exploring Blackfoot historical sites throughout Alberta and Browning, Montana.
Jeanette continues to advocate the importance of preserving the Blackfoot language and culture through Many Guns Ranch. The ranch offers tour guides through Siksika along the Bow River, and Jeanette’s tourism experience includes interpretive history, storytelling and traditional dance demonstrations.
Jeanette is proud to carry on the family’s ranch of cattle and horses, and her lifelong experience as a horse-handler makes her perfect for the position. Jeanette started riding horses and calves when she was just four years old and she’s competed in professional rodeo since the age of eight.
Even though girls weren’t allowed to participate in rodeo when Jeanette was a young, she defied regulations and rode anyway. In her Blackfoot culture, both boys and girls wear long hair, but boys are identified by wearing three braids. Jeanette’s father braided her hair into three braids and changed her name so she could compete with the pro-cowboys.
Her premier event is breakaway roping -- when the calf is roped but not thrown and tied. Jeanette’s competitiveness and skill in the breakaway event brought her to the 2000 Indian National Finals Rodeo in Billings, Montana and again in San Jacinto, California in 2002. Today, Jeanette and her father host rodeos and relay races on the Many Guns property. She even offers horseback riding lessons -- always happy to share her love and knowledge of the sport.
Jeanette’s love for her culture permeates every aspect of life. Jeanette is fluent in Blackfoot, having grown up listening to her great grandmother’s tongue. Her great grandmother didn’t speak English, so the grandchildren had to learn the language to communicate with her. Jeanette and her siblings are fluent speakers and are passionate about promoting the language.
Jeanette taught herself video production and audio editing over the years. Her video productions have been featured in several film festivals, and she uses film to tell stories and preserve her culture.
“There's a lot of history to be told -- when people come out, they’re learning something about the Blackfoot people and our history” -- Jeanette Many Guns