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Lemsford Ferry Tipi Rings Protected Area

Newcombe RM 260, Saskatchewan, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/05/26

Looking across the site area toward the South Saskatchewan River, 2007.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2007.
Site Area
Close-up view of a 4m diameter tipi ring, 2007.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2007.
Tipi Ring
View of the river valley from the south end of the site, 2007.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2007.
South Saskatchewan River Valley

Other Name(s)

Lemsford Ferry Tipi Rings Protected Area
Archaeological Site EgOh-1

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lemsford Ferry Tipi Rings Protected Area encompasses 36 hectares of land on the north rim of the South Saskatchewan River valley in southwestern Saskatchewan. The site contains at least 158 stone rings, 30 rock cairns and a buffalo rubbing stone.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Lemsford Ferry Tipi Rings Protected Area lies in its large and well-preserved collection of stone features that provide information regarding precontact bison hunting cultures. The property’s numerous stone rings once held down the hide coverings of conical lodges (tipis) that could be easily transported as the hunters followed a seasonal round focused on bison. Individual rings reveal the internal structure of dwellings, while the distribution of rings across the property shows how campsites were organized. It is thought that the rock cairns may have protected food caches or were stockpiles of rock for hearths and tipi anchors. One site investigator felt that two of the cairns might mark burials. A large boulder, polished by bison rubbing against it, attests to the one-time presence of this important animal.

Recurring use of the property is suggested by groupings of similar size rings, superimposed rings and rings with missing rocks, presumably scavenged for later constructions. Undoubtedly, the expansive view from the valley edge, prime game habitat, and ready availability of wood, water, and rock were factors that brought people back to the site repeatedly.


Province of Saskatchewan, The Parks Act, May 26, 1986.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Lemsford Ferry Tipi Rings Protected Area resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements of the property’s natural environment that would have contributed to its attractiveness as a precontact campsite, including its native vegetation, undisturbed landforms, and expansive, unobstructed views of the river valley;
-elements that reflect precontact First Nations use of the property, including features such as stone rings, cairns and hearths; precontact artifacts; and the spatial relationships and environmental context of the cultural remains;
-elements that indicate the former presence of bison, such as large boulders with polished surfaces that were used by the animals as rubbing stones.




Recognition Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Recognition Statute

Parks Act, s. 5

Recognition Type

Protected Area

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Canada's Earliest Inhabitants

Function - Category and Type



Undetermined (archaeological site)
Exposed Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Conservation Branch, Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, 3211 Albert Street, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

GR 2319



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