Bison’s relocation to Native lands revives a spiritual bond

BULL HOLLOW, Okla. (AP) — Bison nearly vanished from the Great Plains. Decades later, there’s a nationwide resurgence of Indigenous tribes seeking to reconnect with the humpbacked, shaggy-haired animals that occupy a crucial place in centuries-old tradition and belief. Since 1992 the federally chartered InterTribal Buffalo Council has helped relocate surplus bison. The come locations such as Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks to 82 member tribes in 20 states. Collectively, they are managing over 20,000 of the animals on their lands. One prominent Native leader says the goal is “to restore buffalo back to Indian country for that cultural and spiritual connection that Indigenous people have with the buffalo.”