On June 21, everyone is invited to celebrate the 21st annual National Aboriginal Day (NAD). This is a day for everyone in the country to recognize and honour the rich heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
In southwestern Alberta, the World Heritage Site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (HSIBJ) embraces National Aboriginal Day as another opportunity to communicate its vibrant and unique heritage and storied past. There are a number of events taking place across the province to mark this special occasion, including special programming at HSIBJ.
Experience the sound and beauty of drumming and dancing or listen to Blackfoot elders tell stories about the plains buffalo culture.
Take in a guided facility tour or a number of family-friendly activities, indigenous food sampling or try your hand at Atlatl spear throwing — an ancient hunting technique.
Also on hand will be special guests and industry partners, the Alberta Birds of Prey display. Take a photo with live birds.
Why Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump?
The grounds of HSIBJ are much more than a tourist destination — it’s sacred land. By visiting HSIBJ, visitors get a first-hand look at the cultural significance of this cliff to the Plains People. For nearly 6,000 years, Plains People travelled far and wide to use this specific jump for herding and hunting buffalo as a means of their survival
Inside the centre, Head-Smashed-In Blackfoot Interpreters weave a story of the hunt and culture of the Plains Peoples, and how this chapter of the lives of a dynamic and resourceful culture came to an end with the demise of the buffalo hunting culture. Re-enactments of hunt are shown in the exhibit theatre.
In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated HSIBJ as a World Heritage Site placing it among other world heritage monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and the Galapagos Islands.