Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump - Historic Places Days

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Fort MacLeod, Alberta
Cultural Heritage Centre
Fort MacLeod, AB, Canada
Get directions
Open 10:00 am to 5:00 Pm (Closed Mondays after September 5/22)
403 553 2731


The Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump documents and tells the
story of an ancient hunting technique used by Plains People for thousands of
years. The Plains Buffalo Runners herded the buffalo through a system of drive
lanes then caused the buffalo to stampede over a cliff. A cliff of this nature
is known as a Pis’Kun. This Buffalo Jump produced more food in a single moment
than any other form of communal hunting anywhere in the world.

Head-Smashed-In was used as a Buffalo Jump for almost 6,000
years and is one of the oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps on
the northwestern plains. This site is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was designated a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1981. The interpretive centre was built underground to blend
into the natural sandstone cliffs. The centre features 5 levels of exhibits, 80
seat movie theatre, 60 seat cafeteria, and gift shop featuring authentic First
Nations arts and crafts.

Located in south western Alberta, Canada, HSIBJ is 90
minutes south of Calgary just west of Highway # 2. The site is open year round.
Visit our web site for current information: https://headsmashedin.ca/

The site itself is situated on the traditional domain of the
Blackfoot speaking people, otherwise known as “Siksikaitsitapiiks”

Today Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is recognized as a
premier Aboriginal tourism destination in western Canada. This world class
interpretive centre is recognized by the Canadian Tourism Commission,
Destination Canada as a Signature Experience member.

Notes from "Frequencies of the Land: an Ancestral Invitation to meet the Land where it is in space and time"

If you want to get a glimpse into the sophistication how the Niitsitapi (The Blackfoot) would operate a buffalo/bison jump hunt, the Head-Smashed In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre will take you on a journey into this ancient practice. Many of the stories you hear and learn about at Head-Smashed-In will give you a new appreciation of how civilized and intelligent Indigenous Peoples were, are, and always will be.

“As Blackfoot stewards of this sacred site, we are thankful for UNESCO in helping to protect this site over the years and into the future.”  – Quinton Crowshoe, Manager of Special Events and Marketing at Head-Smashed In Buffalo Jump.

Beauty and power collide at Head-Smashed In, a place that is older than the pyramids at Giza and time itself. I grew up a stones throw away from this majestic area, I invite all of you to come and experience the place I call home.


  • Family-Friendly
  • National Historic Site
  • Parking
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Washrooms
  • Wheelchair Access


Fort MacLeod, AB, Canada
Get directions

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