Happy Valley RM 10, Saskatchewan, S0H, Canada
Big Beaver Buffalo Effigy
Archaeological Site DgNh-3
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Buffalo Effigy site is a Municipal Heritage Property encompassing 64 hectares of land overlooking West Beaver Creek near the United States border and the Big Beaver Port of Entry. The property’s main features include a bison figure outlined in fieldstones, a rock cairn and at least eight stone rings.
The Buffalo Effigy speaks to the important role of bison in precontact First Nations culture. The site, believed to contain the only bison figure constructed of fieldstone in Canada, expresses the deep spiritual significance attached to the relationship between humans and the animals that provided so many of life's necessities. The site continues to be venerated and used as a ceremonial site by First Nations.
The site is also valued as an important expression of time and place for the local rural community. The area's residents strongly identify with an historic tableau that includes the buffalo effigy, other precontact sites, and sites related to the settlement era. The local people have a very strong sense of pride in these historic resources, which they see as giving their community its distinctive character.
Rural Municipality of Happy Valley No. 10 Bylaw No. 2-99.
The heritage value of the Buffalo Effigy site resides in the following character-defining elements:
-the site in its defined boundaries on an undisturbed hilltop;
-the buffalo figure, stone rings and cairns or other archaeological features in their original locations;
-precontact artifacts, especially those in an undisturbed context;
-the site's unobstructed vistas of the surrounding countryside;
-use of the site by First Nations for traditional ceremonial purposes;
-use of the site by community residents for educational, leisure and tourism purposes.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Aboriginal Sacred Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 2001
Cross-Reference to Collection