Queen Elizabeth officially opened Wanuskewin National Heritage Site in 1987. Keep posted for our new Fall 2020 programming options we are developing. (Photo: Tourism Saskatoon). The Saskatchewan Wanuskewin Indian Heritage Incorporated (WIHI) organization was established to present the interests of regional First Nations in planning the park. People shouted and waved their arms to stampede the animals." Walker, of course, can do better still. He wears colorful regalia, with bustles, beaded moccasins and a headdress of eagle feathers and porcupine hair. No artifact illustrates the longstanding historical and cultural importance of Wanuskewin as a meeting place better than the medicine wheel. "It's lower, less windy and warmer here, so this was the winter camp," notes Theresa. The necklaces are beaded in red, black, yellow, and white seed beads with black deer hide closures. Local Indigenous Peoples use the wheel today as a site for offerings, ceremonies and songs. The deepest, and therefore oldest level, known as 3b, contained 24 projectile points — stone objects most likely used on the heads of spears, arrows or darts — as well as numerous bone and stone tools, and bones from what are believed to be 10 individual bison, including one of the oldest radiocarbon-dated artifacts from Wanuskewin, the left distal metacarpal of a bison estimated to be about 5,900 years old. Theresa points out an excavation site, covered with boards. Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. At the end of June each year, it hosts a major celebration that kicks off the northern plains powwow season. ", We move down the hill, through the crested wheat grass to the Red Tail Creek site. This walk showcases the full Opimihaw Valley in more depth, and the stories the site holds. “If you were standing here 12,000 years ago and looked off to the northeast, you would see a mile-high block of ice. Medicine wheel. She then dispels the myth of the mighty hunter. One of the site’s most interesting archeological finds, the wheel is on a ridge in the southwest corner of the park that overlooks the South Saskatchewan River and offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding plains. Canadian Geographic is a magazine of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, T.J. Warren, a prairie chicken dancer, and his daughter Omiyosiw Nazbah Warren, a jingle dress dancer, visit Wanuskewin Heritage Park for a ceremony. The presence of the medicine wheel at Wanuskewin is extremely important. They then increased the length of their tipi poles, because the larger animals could transport them. “This is arguably one of Canada’s top high-priority cultural projects,” says Walker. During the peak summer season about 40–45 people are employed at the park. Wanuskewin Heritage Park officially opened in June 1992; however scientific investigations in the area began in the early 1930s. The earrings are beaded with white, yellow, red, black seed beads, and a marbled heart in the center. Soon, I also find an end scraper (a small stone tool used to clean hides), then a piece of Swan River chert (a type of hard rock found in Saskatchewan believed to have been used to make other stone tools). Trails wind around archeological sites and a teepee encampment in Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The Wanuskewin restaurant menu features traditional Native dishes, bison burgers and stew, wild rice salad, bannock and Saskatoon berry tea. The Park was designated a Provincial Heritage Property in 1984, the only such site in Saskatchewan featuring prehistoric artifacts. Additional taxes may apply. The discoveries come with a bonus lesson from Walker. Subscribe to Can Geo Today >Digital Edition >Our FREE Newsletters >. On site there are summer and winter camp sites, bison kill sites, tipi rings, and artifacts such as pottery fragments, plant seeds, projectile points, egg shells and animal bones, all within a compact area. There are countless treasures from this site on the west bank of the South Saskatchewan River that promise a transformative experience during any visit — tours and cultural programs, six kilometres of trails, teepee encampments and an interpretive centre with galleries showcasing the work of local and international Indigenous artists. Click here to learn more. As ice dams in the area melted in subsequent centuries, meltwater and lake water cut through the landscape in a series of water channels that created a braided river system. The WHPA board has representation from the first nations community, Government of Canada, Province of Saskatchewan, City of Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan and Meewasin Valley Authority and the Friends of Wanuskewin.. The WHPA board has representation from the first nations community, Government of Canada, Province of Saskatchewan, City of Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan and Meewasin Valley Authorityand the Frie… And the larger park continues to be a meeting place for these and other First Nations from across North America. As I scrape my trowel gently across the patch of uneven ground, he explains that he has actually put me to work “cleaning up” an excavation plot he’d allowed a young, local Indigenous visitor to have his hand at. The necklaces are beaded in red, black, yellow, and white seed beads with black deer hide closures. They also chewed the root of harebells, part of the bluebell family, for heart problems.". So, although Walker coaches careful, patient scraping of the dirt from each plot to keep the ground as level as possible, the boy got excited as he started to discover artifacts and aggressively dug them out. Walker has identified 115 sites on the Great Plains, though only a handful are well documented. ", "The city of Saskatoon bought the property in 1982, and sold it, a year later, to the Meewasin Valley Authority, a conservation agency," continues Theresa. First Nations dancer wears beaded moccasins, turkey feather bustles, eagle feather and porcupine guard hair headdress. To enjoy Prime Music, go to Your Music Library and transfer your account to Amazon.com (US). It was named a National Historic Site in 1986. Learn about the formation of the Opimihaw Valley, the history and science behind Archaeology, and see some locations of the dig sites that have been active in past years. Escúchalo en streaming y sin anuncios o compra CDs y MP3s ahora en Amazon.es. About 7,000 years ago, explains Walker, the present-day Saskatchewan River dug deeper into its trench, and other small channels dried up, further shaping the distinct geography of the park’s centerpiece Opimihaw Valley, because where an important tributary of the mighty South Saskatchewan once ran there is now just a minor creek. “Andone of them, the main one, was the medicine wheel. Renowned archeologist Walker submitted to the imperfect excavation exuberance. “It’s about First Nations and non-First Nations, and if you know anything about Truth and Reconciliation and where we’re going in this country, I see Wanuskewin as a beacon, showing the rest of Canada that we’re one. From the bison hunt sculptures to the new trail of the bison lookout, this tour will help you gain a deeper understanding and connection to the significance of bison coming back to the land. The second part of the program will dive into the cultural significance of the animal, discuss cultures, and the longstanding relationship between people and animals. "The native people used the sheaths that cover the buds to stop bleeding. The earrings are beaded with white, yellow, red, black seed beads, and a marbled heart … Keegan C's Medicine Wheel Collection contains three necklaces and one pair of earrings. Archaeologist I Faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan I Original and Founding Board Member of Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Winner 2016 Tourism Industry Association of Canada Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Award, First known human occupation occurs at Wanuskewin, Appearance of bow and arrow and pottery technology signalling dramatic technological changes for area inhabitants, Operation of bison jumps and traps at Wanuskewin, Construction of the Medicine Wheel at Wanuskewin, Treaty Six signed signalling the end of occupation at Wanuskewin by Plains First Nations groups, Saskatoon Archaeological Society recognizes importance of area after visiting Medicine Wheel, Medicine Wheel examined for any astrological alignment, Archaeologist Dr. Ernie Walker and other researchers conduct a detailed archaeological survey, identifying 19 Pre-Contact sites, Province of Saskatchewan designates Wanuskewin a Provincial Heritage Property, Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II visits the park and designates it a National Historic Site on behalf of the Government of Canada, Wanuskewin Heritage Park Interpretive Centre opens.