Wanuskewin National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Wanuskewin National Historic Site of Canada is located in the Tipperary Creek (Wanuskewin) Conservation Area on the South Saskatchewan River, in Saskatchewan. The archaeological sites contained within the 57-hectare (140 acre) conservation area represent nearly 6000 years of cultural history relating to the Northern Plains First Nations people. There are several kinds of remains in the deep coulees along the riverbanks of the site, including a medicine wheel, camps, tipi rings, and stone cairns. Official recognition refers to the present limits of Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
Wanuskewin was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1986 because:
- its archaeological features represent all the major time periods in Northern Plains pre-contact history.
Wanuskewin includes 20 archaeological sites, which represent nearly 6000 years of cultural history relating to the Northern Plains First Nations peoples who lived in deep coulees along the Tipperary Creek and South Saskatchewan River areas. The pattern of land use is clear, being richest along the riverbanks and disappearing as the valley becomes shallower. Therefore, many of the sites are functionally related. Both lithic scatter as well as in situ remains of Plains Indian cultural elements ranging from surface features such as tipi rings to buried campsites over 4,000 years old are found within the site. Also evident are several major bison kill sites as well as ceremonial boulder alignments known as medicine wheels. The density of archaeological materials is so great that the entire area is treated as one large site.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1986, 2009.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location three kilometres north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan;
- its siting on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, in the Tipperary Creek Conservation Area;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent, including a medicine wheel, camps, tipi rings, bison jumps, a bison pound, drive lanes, and stone cairns;
- viewscapes from the site across the river and the valley of the creek.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Peopling the Land
- Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection