First Peoples Buffalo Jump Designated A National Historic Landmark

Aug 4, 2015

The National Park Service this week designated four new historic landmarks and First Peoples Buffalo Jump south of Great Falls is one of them.

Montana State Park's Sara Scott says it's one of the oldest and biggest buffalo jumps in North America.

"It holds incredible information about what Native Peoples did in terms of using the landscape to herd buffalo off cliffs," Scott explains.

Scott says First Peoples Buffalo Jump - formerly known as Ulm Pishkun State Park - has evidence of tipi rings, pictographs, ancient bison processing areas and of course an enormous amount of bison bones.

National Historic Landmarks are places the Interior Department deem nationally significant because they do an effective job of interpreting the country's heritage.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Credit Flickr user Jimmer Emerson (CC-BY-ND-NC-2)

Montana has 55 state parks. Sara Scott says First Peoples Buffalo Jump is now the state's eighth National Historic Landmark park.

"These are the cream of the crop in the nation. These are the most significant historic and archeological sites. When people think of state parks they think of water-based parks or recreation, but part of our park system also consists of really important archeological and historic sites like First Peoples or places like Bannack State Park."

A National Historic Landmark designation does not change property ownership, but each site gets a plaque and is eligible for technical preservation advice.