Do you want to learn more about the area you live in and the cultures that have called it home? Then plan a trip to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Site, a place where history and the future come together.
Located on the beautiful prairies about an hour drive southeast from Calgary, Blackfoot Crossing offers something unique: a chance to learn more about the Siksika people, their culture, their history and their vision for the future from members of the nation itself.
A day at Blackfoot Crossing is more than educational, it’s a chance to see what life was like, and is like, for the people who have called the area home for thousands of years.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can enjoy and discover at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Site.
From an introductory video in its beautiful theatre to performances and demonstrations, Blackfoot Crossing features a number of exhibits that will help you discover more about the culture, traditions, history of the Siksika people.
In their state-of-the-art museum and interpretive centre, you can learn about a wide range of topics, from pow wows and celebrations to life before and after the signing of Treaty 7.
There are guided and self-guided tours that you can take of the environmentally-friendly museum and the surrounding area. During the guided tour, which must be booked in advance, a local Siksika interpreter will take you around the 62,000 square foot centre, walking you through the exhibits.
For anyone who wants to explore the grounds, you can take a self-guided tour of important monuments in the area, plus Canada’s only earth lodge village. This fortified village was constructed in 1740-1742 in a half circle surrounded by a moat, likely by a people who “migrated or were strongly influenced by the culture of the Middle Missouri region of the Dakotas.”
Want to learn more about local flora and fauna? Then take a walk up to the tipi village, where an interpreter can give you a new appreciation for the prairies. Plus, you can see firsthand some of the structures traditionally used by Siksika and get a feel for life on the prairies.
Are you a teacher or summer program coordinator? Then you should know that Blackfoot Crossing offers a number of unforgettable educational experiences. These programs are an excellent way to explore the area around Calgary and connect students to the history of the area.
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is a chance to experience a different and important aspect of life in the region. It’s where you and your family can learn more about an important culture and people who have shaped the area and continue to be an important part of Canadian life.
Note: due to renovations and the COIVD-19 pandemic, please contact the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park before your visit for hours of operation and safety protocols.
Zachary Edwards is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.