In all, 90 bison calves will be relocated south, in an effort to repopulate Blackfeet territory in Browning, MT, where once thriving populations of bison began disappearing from the landscape in the 19th century when they were hunted to the brink of extinction.
“We’re bringing the buffalo back. They’ve been gone for a long time and the animal means a lot to us culturally and spiritually, ” said Ervin Carlson, president of the Intertribal Buffalo Council and the manager of the Blackfeet Nation buffalo program.
“The linnii, the buffalo have taken care of us. In our past, they were our economy, our food, our clothing, our lodges, and also a part of our ceremonies.
“They are a part of us. We have a history together.
Buffalo are/were so important in North America. Last wild Buffalo are in Wood Bison National Park Alberta. Funny the government infected those Buffalo with TB. Its true. Then were debating on cull the whole herd up north of the Park. Wood Bison were even sent to Russia. Cool eh?
There are Bison farms all over the place. Some are being introduced in protected areas like parks; Yellowstone, Elk Island, Riding Mountain, Banff National Park, Grass Land National Park.
It would seem for most Native folk we have lost the significance of the Buffalo. Even where the woodlands meets the prairies. Tasha Hubbard wrote an article of Buffalo genocide: “This might seem like cruelty and wasteful extravagance but the buffalo, like the Indian, stood in the way of civilization and in the path of progress.” (Colonel Nelson A. Miles) Hubbard surmised the killing of the Buffalo was an act of Genocide to the Native people – starving out the people.
There are some people who have not forgotten the significance of the Buffalo. Rich guy Ted Turner is a fan of the Bison. Skownan First Nation has free roaming wild Wood Bison in their territory.
In our area, much of the bush has been stripped by way of logging. However there is a large track of Boreal Forest which is being protected, you know the lungs of the world. I was thinking about an area of forest which is separated by Manitoba provincial highway 317 and Lake Winnipeg could be a great habitat for the Wood Bison. We could make it an area for reintroduction of the Wood Bison. Communities of Sagkeeng First Nation, Little Black River First Nation, Hollow Water First Nation, Powerview community with large Metis Population and Manigotagan with Metis & First Nations. These communities would have an interest in maintaining the area for wild life.
Plains Bison & Wood Bison. The Buffalo.