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Sunny Day at First Peoples Buffalo Jump

Yesterday I was out at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park. It’s an easy drive from Great Falls, just about 15 minutes. To get there take I-15 South, travel about 11 miles, exit at Ulm, then drive 3.5 miles on a paved road.

The sun was shining – yahoo! We’ve seen some cloudy days so my mood improved quickly that day when I saw the bright sun. You can tell from these photos that the weather was awesome.

In the background of this photo of the entrance sign you can see part of the cliff that Native Americans used to harvest buffalo before horses and firearms were introduced to them. It looks like an easy slope but the closer you get to the cliff, the more you realize that there is a lot of rock shelving that isn’t visible from the top of the cliff.

There is an impressive schedule of events this summer at First Peoples. I was there to see the Traditional Native Games. Following the games yesterday there was a talk about Northern Plains Lifestyle in and before the 18th century. I was over committed that day so I missed the talk but I did get to watch some of the games.

Traditional games were an important part of the culture of Montana’s Indian tribes. Some of the games included shinny, double ball, kickball, hoop and arrow, lacrosse (yes, like our modern day lacrosse) and others.

First Peoples had two teepees set up and they created a dramatic effect against the long cliff. With all of our recent rain the grass was definintely green and the white teepees really stood out.

Traditional Native Games will be demonstrated again in July.

Call First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park at 406-866-2217 for a detailed schedule of speakers, demonstrations and interpretive hikes.


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