Week 10: Restoring Bison

How would you prioritize the reintroduction of the American Bison….

I think it’s really important culturally, spiritually, economically and environmentally to reintroduce the Bison.  It feels like it’s an important part of our heritage that should be reestablished.  It feels very culturally significant and is symbolic of hope for Native Indian people, as Bison represented there spirit and symbolized balance and harmony with nature, where they could rely on nature for food and sustenance.  The Bison symbolized strength and unity and as Fred DuBray of the Cheyenne River Sioux wrote, “…as we bring our herds back to health, we will also bring our people back to health.”  I think as a culture we need to continually prioritize balance and returning to a state of balance, after it’s been lost. 

 

The population of Bison has completely plummeted, from 20-30 million to now only 250K in the US.  As Larry mentioned in class, this has largely contributed to the “dustbowl” and likely has a range of other snowball effects….

 

I think the community oriented, bottoms up approach is also important for the Bison’s re-introduction.  The Buffalo Commons seems to follow this type of “bottoms up” approach and includes a number of seemingly unconnected components that promote a healthier, more sustainable and community oriented life in the Great Plains. 

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