Gleichen, 80 km east of Calgary, is best known for the Siksika Reserve 3 km south of the Trans-Canada highway. The Siksika are part of the Blackfoot Confederacy which used to hunt the roaming buffalo herds. The Blackfoot Confederacy also includes the Peigans and Bloods of Southern Alberta, and the Blackfoot in Montana. Two miles north of Gleichen is a buffalo jump, using a natural cut bank. Prince Charles recently visited Gleichen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 7.
The community was named by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883 after Count Albert Edward Wilfred Gleichen, a financial supporter of the CPR, who had visited the area. Gleichen received its first Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) railway station in 1883. Gleichen was a divisional point for the CPR, with a round-house until about 1900. During that early period, Gleichen was a staging point for area homesteaders and ranchers. The Canadian Pacific Railway built an irrigation canal system, not just for the farmers and settlers, but for their steam-driven locomotives. Gleichen was an important stop for all trains of the day.
Old Sun College
P.O. Box 1250, Siksika, AB T0J 3W0
Artifacts of the Siksika Nation Indians and the signing of Treaty Seven are displayed. Tours are available of the nearby Blackfoot Crossing, where Treaty Seven was signed. Open 9 am to 4 pm.
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
7 km south of TCH on highway 842 (100 km E of Calgary)
P.O. Box 1639, Siksika, AB, T0J 3W0
(403)734-5171 Fax: (403)734-2346
Opened in July 2007, this museum is on top of a hill overlooking a 6,000 acre historical park where Chief Crowfoot, one of the signers of historic Treaty Seven, was buried. There is a museum with interactive exhibits at the site, and there are eco-tours of the surrounding parklands. The Park also has meeting rooms, a theatre, a native crafts store, a tipi (sic) village with overnight camping. Winter Hours October-April: Monday-Friday from 9 am – 5 pm / Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. Summer Hours May-September: Monday-Sunday from 9 am- 6 pm.