Medicine Hat's meaning stems from the English term 'Saamis' which is the Blackfoot word for the tail feather of an eagle headdress worn by medicine men or 'Medicine Hat'.
There are 2 legends of how Medicine Hat could have possibly got its name. The first; being the most notoriety, is the battle, a long time ago, between the Blackfoot and the Cree. A Medicine Man, who was evading his enemies, lost his head-dress in the South Saskatchewan River which runs through the city.
The other legend tells a tale of a river serpent who emerged from the river and instructed a Native hunter to sacrifice his wife in return for mystical powers which would embody a special hat.