Northern Arapaho seek to restore historic link to buffalo



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  1. Salle Avatar

    Nice story about the Northern Arapaho but not much else…

  2. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I thought the Wind River Reservation was offered the captive Yellowstone buffalo.

    1. Salle Avatar

      The Northern Arapaho of the Wind River Indian Reservation were offered – I think – the opportunity to take them but there’s so much more to it than the article implies.

      For example, the Northern Arapaho of Wind River Indian Reservation are there at the consent of the Eastern Shoshoni who are the original tribe sent to the reservation. The Northern Arapaho were placed there, temporarily in the beginning, but were then not removed by the US Government and they ended up staying there, somewhat to the chagrin of the Eastern Shoshoni. The reservation, technically belongs to the Eastern Shoshoni, land uses and claims are to be agreed upon by both tribal business councils and must meet with approval of the Shoshoni. But that isn’t what truncated the move of the Yellowstone bison there. It was the Arapaho’s own business council that voted it down due to the Arapaho ranch and it’s business deals for organic beef from that ranch. It’s a capitalist argument. Just prior to the Business council’s vote against the move, the tribe had just signed a contract with Whole Foods or some such large market, for the organic beef and that pretty much shot down any importation of Yellowstone bison, the Shoshoni really didn’t need to play a role in the decision there, it was the “brucellosis factor by implication” that was the determining element in that decision.

      It is a shame that they are still trying to revive the Yellowstone bison lineage and have been unable to go very far with it. Their culture – for most tribes – is dependent upon the bison, in part, to survive the interruption foisted on them by the euro-americans. But then, too, they were placed on a reservation with the hope that they would die off. As with some reservations, like Yakima for instance, there were 14 tribes dumped on top of each other with the hope that they would kill each other off… Our wonderful history books seem to omit such facts… and so it goes.

      I wish that the wildlife “managers” would get real about the environment and the biological factors involved in saving the ecosystems necessary to maintain a biosphere that supports life in general. But then, political and corporate schills don’t make good public servants… it seems that their idea of the definition of that term means that the public is there to serve them.

      I hope some day the bison will be able to escape the Yellowstone zoo and exist elsewhere too. And I hope that the Native-Americans can overcome that which our people have used to try to eliminate them – culturally, socially and spiritually.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole