This place may look like an ordinary cliff. However as early as 12,000 years ago and lasted until at least 1500 AD, this site was where The Blackfoot Indian tribes, as part of their hunting method, herded bisons and drove them over the cliff, breaking their legs and rendering them immobile.
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of the museum of Blackfoot culture.
The location is quite remote. But if you are a history and archaeology buff, then this is the place to be. Plus, the museum architecture is impressive.
Whirlwind day touring Southern Alberta with @gomezyyc . Started out from our hotel in Waterton. Breakfast at McDonald's in Pincher Creek. Onwards to Frank Slide Intrepretive Centre to learn about the deadly event of 1903 and then next door to the memorial for the Hillcrest Mine Diaster. Drove the frigid and snow covered roads to Head Smashed in Bufflo Jump to understand how the bison were originally hunted. This was followed by a late lunch in Claresholm before stopping for an ice cream treat at Made by Marcus once back in Calgary. What a day! Great adventures all around.
A spiritual loss.... in a span of ten years the mass slaughter of Bison in the late 19th century had tremendous impact on Indigenous Populations of North America. European exploitation of the Bison was commercially used internationally. The bison was an integral part of the Indigenous peoples of the Plains. It had spiritual ramifications.
In my lifetime, I have adopted many Western wasteful ideology; resulting in climate issues, destroying our oceans, and polluting the air we breathe. I have taken things for granted. I hope I can help change the way we have impacted our planet and to help restore the values from the Elders before us. Here is my painting. #buffalojump#evolution#getyourmindright
Moody day at Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. The weather was perfectly fitting for the story behind this cliff. Thousands of Buffalo were herded off of here and butchered by our First Nations people for skin, fur, meat, and bones to keep them alive during the frigid winter months. The resilience and creativity of humans when they have mouths to feed and bodies to keep alive is astounding. If you aren’t familiar with the history of this place, look it up, it is truly something special.
Time for a well deserved leisure day as we were hiking nonstop the past week. And driving around the Canadian plains was a pleasent change of scenery after spending most of the time in the Rocky Mountains. The mountains were already invading my dreams. So besides visiting Frank Slide and Lundbreck Falls, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was probably the highlight of the day. What a mouthful but actually accurate name for a heritage site. Basically used for buffalo genocide by driving a stampeding herd down a cliff. Way to go Aboriginals, that's one hell of an efficient and unique method to hunt bison. #travelblog#explorecanada#greatplains#lundbreckfalls#frankslide#headsmashedinbuffalojump
Alberta is full of dramatic landscapes - but once you learn the history of this spot it feels like the most dramatic of all 😯 This is Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump, a site where the native American Black Foot people used to hold an annual buffalo jump 🐃 Essentially, they'd rile up an entire herd of 100-300 buffalo into a stampede and run them off the edge of this cliff in a mass killing. A few buffalo runners would dress in wolf skins, and one would wear the skins of a baby buffalo. When the herd thought the baby was in danger it would start running - and the rest of the tribe would leap out from where they were hiding in two lines, to create a channel which the buffalo would run through. The buffalo wouldn't see the cliff until it was too late to stop.
Once all the animals were dead, the Black Foot people would harvest all the meat, skin and fur - nothing was wasted - and that would be enough to see the tribe through the harsh winter.
The centre at @hsibj is incredible - the perfect place to learn about Alberta's early history. I could have spent all day chatting to Little Leaf, my guide, who was full of amazing stories. This place is a must-visit if you're travelling through Alberta!
Last summer I had the opportunity to explore and learn more about Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. The amazing story behind how the jump was used inspired this piece. You should definitely go check it out if you haven’t already! Stay tuned for more Alberta inspired pieces to come 🖤
We visited the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump today, a holy site where a ritualistic method of hunting was used for nearly 6000 years. We learned so much, made especially poignant by our surprise guide Quinton Crow Shoe and his inspired knowledge and appreciation of the land and story, and his commitment to education and preservation. Isn’t it amazing how an encounter with a human can change an experience? Can shift perspectives, stretch thinking, connect dots, ignite fires? This is one of my favorite parts of schooling my kids while traveling. I saw this quote the other day: “The purpose of education isn’t to fill the mind but to form the heart.” - Rea Berg