Bison in Canada Discover Ancient Petroglyphs, Fulfilling an Indigenous Prophecy
November 29, 2021
Reintroduced to Wanuskewin Heritage Park in 2019, the animals’ hooves uncovered four 1,000-year-old rock carvings
The elders of the Wahpeton Dakota Nation had long prophesized that the return of the plains bison to their ancestral lands would portend a welcome turn of events for Canada’s First Nation peoples. They may not have known, however, that it would take just eight months for this prediction to come true.
In December 2019, officials at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in the province of Saskatchewan reintroduced bison to the region more than a century after the animals were hunted to near extinction. The following August, the herd’s hooves uncovered four petroglyphs, or rock carvings, and an accompanying tool used to create the ancient artworks.
“The elders used to tell us when the bison come back, that’s when there’ll be a good change in our history,” says Wahpeton Dakota Elder Cy Standing. “We’ve been down a long time. But it feels like we are starting the way up.”