About 6,000 years ago a group of natives were roaming the Canadian prairie looking for a stretch of land full of bison for food and a steady water supply. They found their home in the now Tipperary Creek area. Flash forward to present day, and archaeologists continue to add new discoveries to the 19 sites they have uncovered about the early settlers. A place where thousands of visitors come to learn about indigenous people, Wanuskewin means, “living in harmony.”

Photo Credit: Travis Wiens

The park lives up to its name by introducing visitors to the unique history and geography that made it a national historic site. Instead of merely directing guests through a visitor’s center and diorama, Wanuskewin virtually recreates history at every turn with an outdoor theater for traditional dance performances, over four miles of walking trails and two restaurants serving up local bison dishes and other favorite prairie plates.

For families who want to make a historical trip more entertaining, an overnight stay in one the tipis is a must for three simple reasons.

Catered nighttime activities based on your interest

A medicine walk down the trails at twilight or a quick lesson of how to set up a tipi is just the tip of the iceberg. A hands-on introduction to the complex culture that once called the park home, after an evening of stories around the campfire and stargazing, a sunrise walk on the prairie may have you believing you were part of the tribe all along.

That food though

As if seeing areas of the park that most people don’t get to see after hours wasn’t enough, the food is really what seals the deal. Traditional fireside cooking (with lessons for those old enough to participate) will expose you to the crucial role geography played in developing the cuisine. With a warm cup of muskeg tea to send you off to bed, you’ll be dreaming of bison hunts throughout the night.

You’re sleeping in a tipi!

Do you really want to pass that up? Enough said.