First Peoples Buffalo Jump
First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is an archaeological site with what could be the largest bison cliff jump in North America. Native peoples used this site for at least a thousand years before Lewis and Clark passed through. The bison jump site consists of a mile long sandstone cliff and there are remnants of drive lines on top of the cliff and there are up to 18 ft. of compacted buffalo remains below the cliff.
Backstory and Context
First peoples buffalo jump state park has a terrific on-site education visitor center, in efforts to pay tribute to the buffalo and people who inhabited that land. The center offers buffalo culture exhibits, a storytelling circle, classroom, gallery and bookstore. An outdoor amphitheater and traditional game playing fields are featured outdoors.
For hundreds of years, Indians stampeded buffalo off the mile-long cliff. The Indians would stampede the buffalo with their horses to the cliff, thus jumping to their death. At the bottom of the cliff would be waiting other tribe members to kill the buffalo that didn't die from the jump. They used almost every part of the buffalo except most of the bones. At one time, there was up to 18ft of compacted buffalo remains below the cliff.
Eventually, uses were found for the bones such as being ground up and used for fertilizer. The park has interpretative trails, picnic tables and a protected black tailed prairie dog town. The park center has many historical artifacts from the site. Today, the buffalo is making a comeback after being almost hunted to extinction.