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How one Native American tribe is working to revive Montana’s buffalo inhabitants


American Buffalo are at the moment an elusive breed on the japanese border of Glacier Nationwide Park — however one Native American tribe is working to return the species to their previous roaming grounds. To this point, the Blackfeet Nation has returned 90 of the buffalo to their territory in Montana.

“They have been our meals, our clothes our lodging, our instruments,” mentioned Ervin Carlson, the director of the Blackfeet Buffalo Program and president of the Intertribal Buffalo Council. “They have been our entire economic system … we existed on them.”

When European settlers arrived within the 1800s, that delicate stability shifted, till they have been hunted to close extinction. However the tribe took motion to avoid wasting the animals. 

“The Blackfeet captured these calves and so they took them throughout the mountains,” Carlson mentioned. “They bought it to the Canadian authorities, and that is how they received into Canada and so they ultimately ended up at Elk Island Nationwide Park.”

In 2016, Canada allowed 100 buffalo to be returned to the Blackfeet Reservation.

“That was an actual nice day for us,” Carlson mentioned.

They have been residing there peacefully ever since. 13 of the buffalo even made a detour to California’s Oakland Zoo.

“We have been in a position to safe a few of these to convey them right here to Oakland for an unbelievable, not solely exhibit, however actually the tutorial goal of why they’re right here,” Oakland Zoo CEO Nik Dehejia mentioned.

Dehejia mentioned he plans to return the ten infants born and bred on the zoo to the Montana plains. The purpose is to extend this herd’s dimension and even its territory.

“, it is to me, it retains our historical past and our tradition alive,” Carlson mentioned. “That is residence to them.”



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