End Buffalo Slaughter Say Native Americans
The last of the wild buffalo live in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. There are around 3,500 of them and they are the last with no cattle genes and with a migration instinct. Every winter heavy snows end up forcing them to move to the lower elevations beyond park boundaries to forage for food. The buffalo seasonally migrate, as do elk, and this brings them into parts of southwestern Montana.
Because of this, they are being harassed by hazing (herding by horseback & helicopter) or sometimes shot because the buffalo are at the Park’s carrying capacity and because they are seen as competing with cattle and putting them at risk of the disease brucellosis when they migrate. The numbers of those being shot are staggering. According to the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), 6,927 buffalo have been slaughtered since 1985.
In the past the local tribes deliberately rounded up the last remaining wild buffalo to try and save them after 30 million were slaughtered in the 19th century. Now once again in order to stop the current slaughter of the buffalo, the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council is invoking its trust responsibility to try to get Montana and the U.S. government to protect the wild buffalo.
In March of this year, 63 buffalo from Yellowstone National Park were relocated to the Fort Peck reservation in northern Montana with hopes of bringing more there. However further transfers of the buffalo were halted when a livestock and property rights collective immediately sued. Montana’s governor, Brian Schweitzer, has stated that the collective behind the lawsuit just wants “the cheap grass” on public land.
James (Jimmy) St. Goddard, hereditary chief of the Blackfeet Nations, has responded with; “Our treaties are older than the U.S. Our rights are older than the country.” The Leaders Council, which represents Salish & Kootenai, Little Shell, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, Northern Cheyenne, Northern Arapaho, and Crow, are testing the treaties, by sending a letter to Governor Schweitzer asking him to stop harassment of the buffalo.
Please show your support behind these Indian nations by signing the petition below asking Governor Schweitzer to stop the slaughter of the bison and to allow for them to continue to be transferred to the safety of the Ft. Peck reservation.
Video of buffalo hazing:
Listen to Jimmy St. Goddard, a Sacred Paint Gatherer for the Blackfeet Nation, as he talks about the importance of the buffalo:
PETITIONPlease take a minute to sign the following petition to end the slaughter of the Yellowstone buffalo when they move outside the park's perimeter into Montana. These buffalo are the last of the wild herds that roamed North America for thousands of years. Native American tribes have set aside land for them in northern Montana in order to preserve the genetic strain and to provide a safe place for them to live. The Buffalo has always been the sustenance of the Native Americans and has a very spiritual significence to their culture.