Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump National Historic Site of Canada

Fort MacLeod, Alberta
General view. © Jesse Pilkington, 2006. (All rights reserved, used with permission.)
General view.
© Jesse Pilkington, 2006. (All rights reserved, used with permission.)
General view. © Jesse Pilkington, 2006. (All rights reserved, used with permission.)General view from below of the jump. © Darren DeRidder, 2009. (All rights reserved, used with permission.)General View. © Christine Bennett, 2007. (All rights reserved, used with permission.)
Address : Secondary Highway #785, Fort MacLeod, Alberta

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 1968-11-28

Other Name(s):
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump  (Designation Name)
  • ITSIPAKSIKKIHKINIHKOOTSIYOA'PI'  (Plaque name)
Research Report Number: 2007-CED-SDC-05

Plaque(s)


For much of the last 5700 years, Aboriginal people have driven bison to their death over this cliff using a well-organized communal hunting strategy. The result is the oldest, largest and best-preserved buffalo jump known in North America. A complex of archaeological sites is centred here, including ceremonial sites on the ridge, and an extensive butchering area and campsite below the cliff. People took advantage of the natural topography and prevailing winds to gather bison in the hills to the west, and then funnel them through a series of drive lanes several kilometres long towards the jump. Approved 1996