Words by Tess Becker
One of the most iconic animals in North America is returning. There was a point in time when as many as 60 million bison roamed the North American Great Plains, a flatland region that includes Alberta, Saskatchewan, and several US states, but after colonial expansion into the Midwest, the bison were nearly wiped out.
In the past, we at Smiley News have written about US plans to help restore bison populations and now Canada has plans to do the same.
“When the buffalo was first taken away, our way of life was severely impacted,” said Violet Meguinis, the consultation director for Tsuut'ina Nation. “We used to follow the buffalo…. Wherever it roamed and we followed it. We got everything off the buffalo.”
But now, because of primarily indigenous intervention, many bison are being reintroduced to the area. Around 370 bison were introduced in a single paddock, and they're aiming for 160 calves by the end of the year.
“It's exciting for us,” said Brennen Starlight, one of the workers on the buffalo paddock. “We like to see different nations and different reserves get buffalo.”
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Beacon Food Forest. This is one of the largest food forests in the country. Find out more and support them here.
Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.
American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.