Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is first used

May 3, 2017

Artist’s rendering of a buffalo jump in use

Artist’s rendering of a buffalo jump in use. Canadian Museum of History, IMG2009-0024-0017-Dm

4000 BC

A buffalo jump is a location where — through the skilful manipulation of wind, weather and topography — a group of hunters was able to stampede a herd of bison over a cliff or precipice. Requiring the efforts of a whole community, using a buffalo jump was perhaps the most effective method of hunting these large animals. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southwestern Alberta is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved buffalo jumps in North America, in operation from at least 6,000 years ago until the 1800s.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.