Indigenous communities, agencies, and research institutes around the country are working to restore bison. Before being hunted to near extinction, the bison was important to the culture, spirituality, and sovereignty of tribal nations. We are proud to collaborate and contribute to restoration efforts where we can.
American Prairie is honored to collaborate with tribes to promote cultural awareness, develop educational and economic opportunities, and exchange knowledge — especially when it comes to buffalo. The return and management of buffalo to the landscape is an area where American Prairie and tribal neighbors have found much common ground. The grasslands of the Great Plains hold cultural and spiritual significance for many Indigenous peoples living in Montana, who recognize and value the restoration of native species for both cultural and ecological reasons. As sovereign nations, tribes are uniquely positioned to engage in wildlife restoration, and have often led the way in this work.
We are proud to collaborate with many tribes, agencies, and research institutions to contribute to the growing movement of returning bison to the land and to keep herds genetically healthy through animal exchanges.
In 2021, American Prairie, along with the Confederated Salish Kootenai, contributed six bison to the new herd at Rocky Boy. We have sent bison to the Quapaw Nation, the Blackfeet Nation, the Pe’Sla site, the WoLakota Buffalo Range, and the One Spirit project. To date, American Prairie has contributed more than 400 buffalo to Indigenous-led conservation herds and efforts around the US, and will continue these distributions and exchanges.