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.