I’m a long time Bisonophile and enthusiastic supporter of restoring wild Buffalo herds to North America. I’m particularly happy with the strong role of various Native America tribes, working through the political and technical barriers, and finding land to host the new herds. It almost goes without saying that this restoration has immense symbolic and cultural significance for the peoples who once lived with the Buffalo.
There has been a steady stream of reintroductions, notably to Banff earlier this year and Blackfeet Reservation and Ft. Peck Reservation in earlier years This month was marked by another milestone, the birth of a calf on the Eastern Shoshone Wind River Reservation.
You go little guy!
As part of a twenty year project to restore buffalo to tribal lands, the Eastern Shoshone received ten buffalo last fall. The new baby is a welcome sign that the Bison are settling in, and a promise of a permanent presence in the future.
Jason Baldes considers this to be more than wildlife management, for him it is a form of restorative justice. He commented on Yellowstone Public Radio,
“What happened to Native people similarly happened to buffalo and we’re now isolated on former pockets of our once vast territories, you know, Indians on reservations and buffalo on national parks and refuges. And we’re kinda in a time now where we can handle that different.”
At a time when knuckle draggers and latter day Medicis in Washington are plunging down a deeply destructive path, we can only hope that this little guy and his small tribe of buffalos can survive and thrive.
I’ll end with a culturally mixed welcome to the young one in Lakota, Taŋyáŋ yahí.
(I know very well that Lakota is not the same as Shoshone. But I have an online translator for Lakota, and this was an opportunity to learn a new word. I’m sure Lakota people are happy at the birth as well.)
- Brie Ripley, Eastern Shoshone Tribe Celebrate First Baby Buffalo Born On Reservation In Over A Century Yellowstone Public Radio.May 8 2017, http://ypradio.org/post/eastern-shoshone-tribe-celebrate-first-baby-buffalo-born-reservation-over-century