Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn has a long research career examining the northern plains, and the ancient lifeways of his Piikani ancestors. His main interest is the evolution of communal hunting from the early Holocene to the nineteenth century when this custom was rendered obsolete with the extinction of the bison herds. He augmented his research of material culture with Piikani oral narratives that had survived to the present. In doing so, he contributed new insights about the archaeological sites known as buffalo jumps that are evident across prairies.
His research on Piikani mythology yielded a chronological framework for those old stories that originated in time immemorial. Currently Assistant Professor Department of Geography Professor Yellowhorn has included historical archaeology in his studies of Piikani culture after they settled on the Peigan Indian Reserve. This branch of research triangulates data from material culture, oral history and archival documents to create an internalist approach to studying the early days of their reserve life. Dr. Yellowhorn now includes lmmaking in his repertoire of mobilizing knowledge he accrued through his research. He has produced one feature length documentary, “Digging up the Rez: The Piikani Historical Archaeology Project” and two short videos that are posted on YouTube. He is presently working on another feature length production, “Powwow: Copylefting Cultural Tradition,” which chronicles origin and history of powwow celebrations in Canada.