Facilities Concept

The Basics
Currently, facilities at the Vore Buffalo Jump (VBJ) site are rudimentary. However, the Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation (VBJF) envisions a world-class facility with state-of-the art interpretive and research center at the site. The concept is that excavation will continue and expand in the sinkhole under a permanent structure that will optimize visitor viewing while protecting the archaeological resources from weather and vandalism.
The Vision
The vision is that the visitor center, research laboratory, and a “living history” tipi village will wrap around the north rim of the sinkhole. The tribes that used the Vore Site lived in buffalo hide tipis or earthlodges or both. Some tribes spent most of the year farming and living in permanent earthlodge villages, but used tipis for seasonal buffalo hunts. Some tribes gave up farming and earthlodges to become year-round bison hunters, especially when horses became available.

Facility Concept

The Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation’s concept is to use the Center’s architecture to help tell this cultural story. Working with Dennis Holloway, an architect who specializes in energy-efficient buildings with Native American motif, the VBJF arrived at a design that incorporates both tipis and earthlodges into the Visitor Center. More information on the architect can be found at his site: http://www.dennisrhollowayarchitect.com/Vore.html

Architect Dennis Holloway created this model of an earth lodge similar to those used by the Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara Indians of the Middle Missouri River area. For a time, the Cheyenne also lived in earth lodges. It is not clear whether any of these tribes used the Vore Buffalo Jump when they were living in villages of this type, but the Cheyenne almost certainly used the Vore site when they became full-time bison hunters. The Crows, who branched from the Hidatsa, were also probable Vore site users. If earth lodges are incorporated into the VBJ architecture, they will have an authentic appearance from the outside, but will have thoroughly modern interiors.