The village of Wood Mountain dates back to the 1870s. This community was the spot where 5000 Lakota Indians sought refuge after the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana (where General Custer and his troops were wiped out). This demonstrate the need for a Canadian police force (formed in 1873) to protect the new country’s borders this far west. The North West Mounted Police met with the natives shortly after they crossed into Canada and gave the natives ammunition for hunting purposes, so they could hunt the buffalo herds in the area, but many starved from lack of food. When they were not granted a Canadian reservation, the Lakota returned to the US to live on reserves there.
A Metis uprising caused a telegraph line to be built from Moose Jaw to Wood Mountain,ending the area’s isolation. The area began attracting large ranching operations, several with over 600 head of cattle.
The Wood Mountain Stampede is the oldest continuously operating rodeo in Canada.The area’s surrounding grasslands provides a host of recreational opportunities,and the area has a number of guest ranches.
Annual events include: Annual Trade Fair (May),Rodeo Ranch July 1 Celebration (July), Annual Wood Mountain Rodeo (July),Cowboy Poetry Celebration (July), Horticultural Show (August).
Wood Mountain Attractions
Rodeo and Ranch Museum
6 km south of town on Highway 18 (at Wood Mountain Post Historic Site)
This museum, including adjoining log and adobe (clay) buildings, has exhibits on local
Indians, ranching, blacksmithing, and saddle making. The grounds host a rodeo the second
weekend of July. Open daily 10 am – 6 pm from mid-may to Labour day. Admission fee.
Wood Mountain Post Historic Site
6 km south of town on Highway 18
This site includes two buildings used by the North West Mounted Police from 1874 to 1918. The rest of the post is marked with small stumps. The buildings house displays on the Mounted Police, the Sioux Indians and local history.