Wanuskewin is an archaeological goldmine, rich in sites that tell the story of early life in the Opimihaw Creek Valley, with finds in the area taking us as far back as 6,000 years.

Wanuskewin is Canada’s longest-running archaeological dig. Famed archaeologist Dr. Ernie Walker and his fellow researchers have been unearthing treasures since the 1970s and continue to do so today. In May and June you can find some of Dr. Ernie Walker’s archaeology students from the University of Saskatchewan working at one of the many dig sites at Wanuskewin.

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 signalling dramatic technological changes for area inhabitants
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 signalling the end of 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 designates Wanuskewin a Provincial Heritage Property
1987 Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II visits the park and designates it a National Historic Site on behalf of the Government of Canada
1992 Wanuskewin Heritage Park Interpretive Centre opens
*BP: Before Present

“For thousands of years, this valley was a magnet that pulled people from thousands of miles away to one concentrated area. Today, it’s an unparalleled archaeological resource and we’ve only scratched its surface.”

– Dr. Ernest G. Walker
Archaeologist I Faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan I Original and Founding Board Member of Wanuskewin Heritage Park