Wanuskewin is excited for your class to explore the opimihāw Valley at your own pace!
Whether you are coming for a self-guided visit or are looking for things to do when you are not in programming, we have lots to offer for non-guided activities.
Check out the brand new self-guided activities we currently offer below!
Wondering what else can you do during self-guided time? There’s lots to explore!
Walk our nearly 7km trail system to take in the nature and history of the opimihāw Valley. With beautiful views of the South Saskatchewan River and points of interest like the Medicine Wheel, you can spend hours just walking the trails and connecting with the land. You are welcome to take pictures throughout the valley, although we ask you not to take pictures or videos of the Medicine Wheel or any prayer cloths you see as they are ceremonial in nature. You can see the trail map here.
Our Tipi Village is a short walk from the building and features up to four 18′ Plains Cree style tipis throughout the year. Tipis were used across the Plains for thousands of years and have many different styles and ways to set them up. Our tipi teachings were gifted to Wanuskewin by Elder Mary Lee, and we set up all our tipis in this style, which uses fifteen poles that each represent a lesson that you learn throughout your life.
People of the Northern Plains Hall
Explore our permanent exhibits hall and learn more about the histories of Northern Plains Indigenous peoples through our displays featuring gifts from the land, language, clothing and regalia, archaeology, beading and trade, bison, and Treaty 6. Spend your time reading through our beautifully curated displays or take in a short video in our tipi-shaped Gathering Place Theatre.
Greg & Olivia Yuel Art Galleries
Check out what is currently on show in our two art galleries here! Wanuskewin features established and emerging artists from across the Northern Plains to showcase a variety of diverse art styles that encompass past, present, and future artistry.
Walk to our Viewing Platform for a chance to see our conservation herd grazing or wallowing on the Plains. In 2019, Wanuskewin partnered with Parks Canada to welcome a herd of 11 bison back to their original prairie home. Since then, our herd has grown to over 30 bison! Having bison back on the land helps us work towards our grasslands restoration project and with cultural revitalization. Understanding the relationship between Northern Plains Indigenous peoples, bison, and the land is necessary to learning about Northern Plains Indigenous cultures.
Burn off some energy at our playground or enjoy your lunch at our picnic benches! The design of this playground is intended to bring together culture, nature, and archaeology through interpretive play structures like roaming bison and beaver log jams. In the spring and summer, you can also see a variety of plants growing in our 7 Sisters Garden.
Public Dance / Music Presentation
Our afternoon Public Dance / Music Presentation give visitors, whether general public or tour groups, the chance to see a variety of Indigenous dance styles at no extra cost! This runs daily from May to September, and on weekends the rest of the year. Join us to learn more about Indigenous dance styles as an art form and type of ceremony, as well as a personal expression of culture and identity. Many cultural practices, such as dance and its related ceremonies, were once banned, so we are grateful that we are able to come together to celebrate these cultural practices.
Available during the winter months, we have a number of different sized snowshoes that your class can borrow to brave the snowy trails. Just ask the guides at the front desk for assistance! People have been using snowshoes to travel this land for thousands of years. Traditional wooden snowshoes come in variety of styles depending on the terrain you were traversing, like the Bearpaw style to move through thick mountains or the Huron style to walk across open fields.
Please note that we require at least 6 inches of packed snow in order to protect our trails.
Winter 2024: We do not currently have enough snow to have snowshoes out. Please email [email protected] to check if the snowshoes are available before your booking.
EXHIBIT HALL ACTIVITIES
Explore the People of the Northern Plains Hall with our exhibits activities to guide you. The exhibits have two self-guided activities for you to try, the Exhibit Hall Crossword and the Exhibit Hall Exploration.
Please print this activity in advance as we have very limited copies at the front desk.
|The Exhibit Hall Crossword is aimed at Grade 3+ and takes you to a few of our guide’s favourite items or facts that you can find in our permanent exhibits. All answers to this activity can be found in the exhibit hall or on the People of the Northern Plains Wall just outside the exhibit. The answer key to this crossword can be found on this page, or at the front desk.
|Exhibits Self-Guided Activities – Crossword
|Exhibits Self-Guided Activities – Answer Key
|The Exhibit Hall Exploration is aimed at all ages, though younger grades may need some assistance from a chaperone. This activity focuses on self-exploration, critical thinking, and creativity with a scavenger hunt and group discussion prompts.
|Exhibits Self-Guided Activities – Exploration
MOSAIC TILE ART
Learn more about Plains Indigenous art like the Hoofprint Tradition, petroglyphs, and geometric beadwork through this art activity.
All instructions and materials for this activity are accessible from the front desk.
This activity has four parts:
- Background information for teachers
- Activity guide for teachers/students to use
- Pictures of different types of art discussed in the background information
- Examples of mosaic art
All of these documents are laminated and kept at the front desk with a bucket of plastic mosaic tiles for students to use during this activity. You can ask for this activity at the front desk, but please be aware that only one class can use it at a time. To guarantee you can use this activity at a specific time, please email the Visitor Services Coordinator ([email protected]) to book it out and we will make sure it is available for you to use at the desired time.
This document contains background information for teachers to read through and share with their students to prepare for this activity. You are welcome to give the document to your class, though it may be a bit complex for younger grades. It discusses the Hoofprint Tradition, petroglyphs, and the mosaic in the plaza by Ruth Cuthand entitled “We Were Here.” The petroglyph it describes is on display in the exhibit hall (archaeology section), so you can bring your students there to see it in person! The mosaic in the plaza can also be seen in person (though it is usually covered in snow in the winter) as you will pass over it before entering the Visitor Centre.
This activity guide explains the activity that the class will be doing. We recommend checking out the mosaic in the plaza by Ruth Cuthand and looking for the geometric beadwork and petroglyphs in the exhibits before getting started! The guides will let you know the best place to do this activity when they give you the materials.
The activity itself has students create artwork using the provided mosaic tiles. This activity will challenge students to be creative as they are working with limited shapes (all mosaic tiles are squares) and colours.
You can see examples of the art we discussed in the background information above. Feel free to ask the guides at the front desk if you need directions to where the petroglyph and mosaic are located!
Here you can see examples of mosaic art created by our guides!
Explore Wanuskewin while on the look out for the objects listed in the scavenger hunts below. If you complete them and return them to the front desk, you may even get a prize!
You can either print this activity before you come, or borrow one of the limited copies from the front desk.
|Look around the Visitor Centre for a variety of pictures and items! This scavenger hunt contains items that are inside the Visitor Centre.
|This scavenger hunt focuses on one of the most common Indigenous art forms–beading! Check around the Visitor Centre for these intricate beaded items. This scavenger hunt contains items that are inside the Visitor Centre.