The butterfly, or APANII, has a good deal of meaning in our culture and is used sumbolically in many ways as an expression of our beliefs and view of life.
The BLUE BUTTERFLY, Ootskwiinatsinum, is the being that brings us good dreams and visions of a beautiful future. This is why just about every Blackfoot tipi has a butterfly up high on the back of each one. It appears to be a cross but is not. Rather it is a stylized way of depicting APANI, the Butterfly, which carries you to the dream world, or Apahtopi.
The gift of the symbol of BUTTERFLY is a way of wishing the person in your life a beautiful life of happiness and good health.
Today the image of the Blue Butterfly on a rising sun has come to be a symbol of persons who invite all others to join in supporting and voting as a group in elections for political offices that give rise to indigenous peoples quest for justice, which indirectly includes all peoples since we are all the children of the Source of Life.
The Rising Sun is the symbol of the power and renewal of all life each day. The Blue Butterfly represents that which brings us harmony and peace and our visions for a better future in honor and respect of all people. Life is always changing as does the Butterfly during its lifetime, so we seek to emulate its quiet and beautiful nature.
The seven dots on the upper wing represent the Big Dipper and the five dots on the lower wing represent the constellation Pleiades which you see on the smoke flaps of every Blackfoot Tipi. These represent stories from the Blackfoot culture but in this instance they also represent the fact we are people from the stars and for this reason we are sacred. We are all a people of the universe.
The color Blue is significant because it is the color of water, which brings us all together as male and female. Water is the element into and out of which we are born; water is the commonality that makes us all relatives and which make us related to all things.