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Annual Spring Tipi Raising at First Peoples

It’s spring and time to put the tipi up at First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park near Ulm, MT.

Each time I drive towards the park from Ulm, the first thing I see is the white, cone shaped tipi on a relatively flat, slightly rolling plain with the cliff in the background. A beautiful sight!

This photo shows the tipi poles in place correctly, a critical step in the process. If not done right, you could be sitting in some wide open area with no protection!

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is thought to have the longest cliff jump in North America that was used to harvest buffalo. This area was really a “buffalo superstore” and Plains Indian tribes traveled many miles to obtain their provisions.

In addition to the tipi, First Peoples has a visitor/education center, walking trails and you can drive or walk to the top of the jump to get a much fuller understanding of how the jump was used.

This photo shows the almost completed tipi – just need to anchor things a bit and then it’s done.

You can also take advantage of the Summer Speaker Series and weekend interpretive hikes at the park. Call 406-866-2217 for details.

Admission to all Montana state parks is free for Montana residents.

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