Wanusekwin Heritage Park - Saskatchewan   July 2000

We pulled in to the campground in Saskatoon about 7:00 p.m. on July 3rd, had dinner and got set up in our campsite, and the sun was still shining after 9:30.  The farther north we get the longer the daylight hours--not quite like Alaska, but certainly long days.  By the time it gets dark, it is time to go to bed.   

One of the highlights in Saskatchewan, according to our guide book, is the Wanusekwin Heritage Park, a National Historic Site here in Canada.  This fascinating place has 6,000 years of documented history.  If you read Jean Auelís book, The Mammoth Hunters, then you would understand the Buffalo Jump and the Buffalo Pound shown in the park.  Ancient plains people hunted bison in two different ways.  In the Buffalo Jump they would stampede them to a place where there was a drop, so the bison would go crashing down and be knocked out or disabled in some other way.  The waiting hunters would then kill these animals necessary for food, clothing and shelter in this harsh land.  In a Buffalo Pound they would herd them into a natural or man-made corral where they would be in a tight circle so the hunters could make their kill.   )Narrative continues below photos)

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Archeologists have found thousands of bison bones from the centuries of hunting in the area.  This large plains area has walking trails, or interpretive trails which seems to be the current word of fashion.  We hiked into the park up to the buffalo jump, crossing a meandering creek and down to the river.  We enjoyed a show of modern Indian dancing performed by one very nice young man who obviously wanted to be a stand-up comedian instead of an Indian dancer.  He pointed out some of the modern and colorful items on his costume, such as CDís, which I had already spotted.  Other things he had purchased at Wal-Mart.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable day.
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