First Nations - Blackfoot
16.05.2017 - 16.05.2017
Just outside of Fort Macleod, Alberta, in the foothills of the Rockies, is a World Heritage Site. It was officially opened July 1987, by the then Duke and Duchess of York (Andrew and Sarah). This buffalo jump was used by native people (First Nations -Blackfoot) for nearly 6,000 years. Designated as a World Heritage site puts it at the level of the Egyptian Pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Taj Mahal.
Many other buffalo jumps sites were damaged or destroyed when the pioneers used the buffalo bones for fertilizer. As this site was off the beaten path, it was better preserved. Of interest is through archeologist digs they have discovered the site was used for thousands of years as a buffalo jump, then it stopped for 1,000 years. It then started again and was used until the buffalo herds were destroyed by the Europeans (mid 1800s).
Another very interesting item was the inside of a buffalo hide. The symbols painted tell the story of important yearly events. To the Blackfeet people this form of record keeping was known as the winter count. One important event was recorded for each year, such as floods, fires, mild winters, when the white mean with short hair first came, etc. I have included some pictures of this very interesting hide. It was maintained from 1764 to 1879.
We spent three hours at this museum and we would highly recommend people add it to their bucket list.