Wanuskewin’s uniqueness not only lies in its evidence of ancient peoples, but in the composition of many different aspects of habitation, hunting and gathering, and spirituality–all in one place. A place we strive to preserve and protect.
Wanuskewin is also home to the longest-running archaeological dig in Canada. Led by famed archaeologist Dr. Ernie Walker, he and other researchers continue to unearth treasures in the area that shed important light on the land’s social and spiritual significance.
A special debt of gratitude is owed to the Penner and Vitkowski families who owned and preserved the land for more than 40 years, allowing careful archaeological exploration and commitment to the long term protection of the area.
The grasslands of North America are one of the most endangered biomes in the world.
Part of our effort to protect this biome involves our bison conservation herd, whose reintroduction to their original habitat helps restore adjacent agricultural fields to native grasses and bring balance between people, land, and animals.
- 12,000 BP* Glacier recedes
- 6,000 BP First known human occupation occurs at Wanuskewin
- 2,000 BP Appearance of bow and arrow and pottery technology signaling dramatic technological changes for area inhabitant
- 2,000 – 500 BP Operation of bison jumps and traps at Wanuskewin
- 1,500 BP Construction of the Medicine Wheel at Wanuskewin
- 1876 Treaty Six signed signaling the end of the occupation at Wanuskewin by Plains First Nations groups
- 1902 Homesteading begins at Wanuskewin
- 1932 Saskatoon Archaeological Society recognizes importance of area after visiting Medicine Wheel
- 1975 Medicine Wheel examined for any astrological alignment
- 1982 Archaeologist Dr. Ernie Walker and other researchers conduct a detailed archaeological survey, identifying 19 Pre-Contact sites
- 1984 Province of Saskatchewan designated Wanuskewin a Provincial Heritage Property
- 1987 Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II visits the park and designated it a National Historic Site on behalf of the Government of Canada
- 1992 Wanuskewin Heritage Park Interpretive Centre opens
*BP: Before Present