A team from the Royal Alberta Museum has been hard at work at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump since the first week of September.
“One of the things that brought us back this year was in 1990, in the last week of an eight-year project, we found what looks like a roasting pit that someone prepared a delicious meal and they never came back to retrieve and eat,” said Bob Dawe, assistant curator of archeology at the Royal Alberta Museum.
In the past, Dawe said archeologists had been attracted to the kill site deposits, where they were able to find layers and layers of bones and artifacts.
“But not much is understood about the campsite and processing area, the more mundane day-to-day existence stuff that goes along with the spectacle of killing hundreds of buffalo at a time,” he said.
“Out here in the flats, below the jump, there is a huge camp set up with probably hundreds of people visibly engaged in processing the meat, dressing hide and repairing tools.”
The pit they found is a little unusual as he believes inside the pit, side by side, is an intact buffalo calf and perhaps even a dog.
“In the case here, what they did was they dug a hole in the ground, not a very deep hole but a basin more or less the size of a bathtub, lined it with big sandstone slabs built in a really hot fire of wood and it burned down to a bed of coals,” said Dawe.
“We know it burned down to a bed of coals because we found big chunks of charcoal.”
Dawe noted the use of charcoal was also unusual as buffalo dung was the normal fuel choice given that there were very few trees in the area.
Dawe said they enlisted the help of a paleontologist from the Royal Tyrrell Museum to help with the project but said the team consists mostly of volunteers, from professors at the University of Lethbridge, to consultants, grad students and vocational archeologists who jumped at the opportunity to dig at Head-Smashed-In.
Stores increase size of mall
The oldest mall in Lethbridge has just become a lot larger.
A $26-million, comprehensive redevelopment of Centre Village Mall has been completed — the largest in the mall’s 46-year history.
Anchor tenant London Drugs opened last week with Save-On-Foods to follow in the coming days.
“Once again, Centre Village Mall is a shopping destination for Lethbridge residents,” said Eric Carlson, CEO of Anthem Properties, in a recent news release. “Our investment in the mall has helped to attract and retain major Canadian retailers, along with the many independent long-time tenants, all of whom serve the daily needs of residents.”
Redevelopment began a year ago, with a number of exterior upgrades and large spaces built for London Drugs, Save-On-Foods and Dollar Tree. Other tenants include Canadian Tire, Royal Bank of Canada and A&W. There are more than 25 stores, many of which are independently owned and operated.
Anthem Properties purchased the mall in 2006.
The London Drugs relocation to Centre Village Mall comes with a new concept store and will celebrate more than 25 years in Lethbridge with support for the Lethbridge Food Bank.
The entirely redesigned and expanded 40,000-square-foot store features an open concept layout.
Bench helps students connect
There is a place elementary school children can go during recess to find a friend to play with.
It’s called a “friendship bench,” and two were installed at Fleetwood-Bawden Elementary School recently.
The idea is quite simple. If a student is feeling lonely or is too shy to approach another student, they can sit on the bench. That is the cue for other students to approach and try to make them feel included.
“We really look to kids to be student leaders,” said Fleetwood-Bawden principal Craig DeJong. “So when, as a leader, they see a student that’s potentially left out or looking to connect, they step up and respond well. It’s something they’re very passionate about in creating the Fleetwood family to be really inclusive and warm and welcoming to all students.”
Within seconds of the morning recess bell on Tuesday, the bench was full of kids. They wouldn’t sit for long before another student would approach and offer a hug or grab their hand and run to the playground.
The idea was brought forth by parent Haidee Webb, who has two children at the school. Webb has worked with people with disabilities for many years. One of her children is affected by the autism spectrum.
Webb says it’s often a struggle for children to make social connections, especially for those who may be dealing with an “invisible” disability.
Rehab program marks 10th year
A 10-year anniversary deserves a PARP-y.
The Post Acute Rehabilitation Program marked 10 years at St. Michael’s Health Centre on Thursday with a number of speakers, a blessing and refreshments.
PARP is a premier intensive in-patient rehab program originally founded in the 1990s at St. Michael’s Hospital. It was then moved to Chinook Regional Hospital later and returned to St. Michael’s — Covenant Health in the fall of 2006.
“We provide in-patient, intensive rehabilitation,” said James Ostoya, PARP manager. “Individuals who can’t go home to receive their rehabilitation services come to us and they get about three hours of rehabilitation per day.”
Sharon MacDonald is a registered nurse who has been with the program at St. Michael’s since it opened at the site.
“I’m so honoured that, as patients come through our program, that we are allowed to help them in their journey of rehab,” she said.
Paul Pisko, an amputee athlete and patient at PARP, has been in and out of the facility for the past five years with a number of different injuries. He suffered a catastrophic leg injury after he was run over by a drunk driver, resulting in an amputation of his right leg.
The wear and tear his amputation caused on his other leg eventually led to the partial amputation of his other leg.
“I had to get it fused twice, and it failed,” he said. “Finally, I got tired of the pain, and decided to have a below-knee amputation this past June.”
Pisko said he has received tremendous help and support through PARP.