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Indigenous Tourism in Alberta: Bodo Archaeological Site and Centre

Summer is in full swing and in Alberta that means a whole new world of outdoor activities and attractions are available.
33HSG - Bodo Archaeological site

Alberta is home to hundreds of breathtaking sights and experiences in nature, but we have incredibly rich and diverse cultural histories to explore as well!

History

The Bodo Archaeological Site & Centre is a true treasure with incredible history and unique activities to experience. It's home to archaeological finds that date back to nearly 5000 years ago. Bodo is also one of the largest and best-preserved archaeological sites in Western Canada.

At this site you'll also be able to view evidence of a bison pound that was shown to have seen repeated use over the last 500 years. Bison pounds are traps and corrals that the First Nations peoples of the prairies would construct (with varied designs due to landscape and innovation) to be able to trap and harvest bison more efficiently. The trappers could maintain these structures to be used over and over.

Attractions & Activities

Tours are available and open to the public on a drop-in basis from Monday-Friday, 9AM to 5PM and weekend availability is 10AM to 2PM beginning in June 2021. Tours offer a wide variety of finds to examine. Various bone and stone tools, pottery fragments and bone fragments are on display in the lab and centre and the actual excavation site itself is part of the guided tours. These are also available for group bookings like school trips. Guided tours are usually 2-2.5 hours.

While the tours include some hands-on activities for the whole family, the Bodo Archaeological Site & Centre offers the opportunity to actually be the archaeologist with camps and special programs. Day camps are available for kids of all ages, but there is also a unique adult camp available. The adult dig camp is 2-4 days long and focuses on working in the field at the site of the 500-year old communal bison pound. Optional group activities and presentations are also included in the experience.

Whether you're making the Bodo Archaeological Site & Centre part of a road trip or you're staying overnight for a dig camp, there's tipi camping available as part of a tour, or separately, with accessible fire pits and washrooms.

Location & Treaty Territory

Present-day Bodo, AB is a hamlet near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border about 25 kms southeast of Provost, AB. The Bodo Archaeological Society respects and acknowledges that they reside on Treaty 6 territory as well as Region 3 of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Nearby Sounding Lake was the site of the Treaty 6 adhesion in 1879. The area is the traditional territory of the Cree, Blackfoot, Nakota Sioux, Métis and many other ancestries of Indigenous peoples. Their histories, traditions, and languages are an incredibly important part of our country's history and continue to be an important part of our future.

Wes Charlton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature.  It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.