Community History

The Paskapoo Slopes, an integral part of the West Springs and Cougar Ridge Communities, is a unique area with significant ecological and historical resources. A base line archaeological inventory and assessment was carried out in May and June 1997 of Precontact Native Archaeological Sites in the East Paskapoo Slopes and adjacent areas.

In total, there are now 49 significant sites identified, including a number of campsites, kill sites, sweat pits and others. Bison were not only driven into corrals along the uppermost slopes below the escarpment; they were also driven and trapped at lower levels along the slopes. The result is a series of kill/processing camps extending down the slopes. Similar complexities in moving herds to specific sites have been documented at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump west of Ft. Macleod.

The pattern is similar in kind and intensity to that found associated with large bison kills/processing camps along the Porcupine Hills. The main differences observed at the Paskapoo Slopes is primarily that the bison driving and processing is spread out laterally and vertically along the slopes and, although intensive, it is spread over 2 km of slope. Stacked together, the layers of artifacts would no doubt represent the intensity found in the deep bone beds and campsites deposits at jumps and camps such as that of Old Woman’s Buffalo Jump.

During the fall of 2000, an extensive archaeological study was performed on the significant sites located along the storm and sanitary utility corridor for the Cougar Ridge Community. This trunk now runs down the Paskapoo Slopes. Before it was installed, these digs were completed.