HomePublicationsIn the Tracks of the Tracker magazineWinter-Spring 1994

In the Tracks of the Tracker magazine - Winter-Spring 1994

Prophecy Of The Returning Buffalo

    In the Ghost Dance of the late 1880's, Plains Indians spoke of a time when the buffalo would return, signaling the collapse of white society and a reclamation of lands taken from the tribes and their buffalo brothers.  Before the white man wiped them out, the Great plains were home to buffalo herds numbering 30 to 50 million.  Three hundred buffalo were recently released into the Nature Conservancy's 36,600 acre preserve on the Kansas border where biologist Bob Hamilton hopes to grow them into 1800 head over the next ten years.  This adds to the growing population of 135,000 - four times their 1970 numbers. A s the buffalo move into the land, people continue to leave.  The populations of Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Dakotas have declined to half their 1930 levels.  Now the only growth in rural counties is among the Indian tribes where in South Dakota alone it has doubled since 1960.  According to Ed Valandra, a Lakota Sioux activist, Lakota narratives tell of a time when man and buffalo were one.  They lived in a balance that made it possible for both groups to "live well in the natural world".

(From Earth Changes Report, Jan 1994)

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