Rocky Boy Reservation Celebrates the Return of the Buffalo


October 28, 2021

A special event celebrating the return of buffalo to the Rocky Boy Reservation will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at The Chippewa Cree Tribal Buffalo Pasture near Box Elder, Montana. (Rocky Boy Buffalo Project)

No buffalo have roamed north-central Montana's Rocky Boy Reservation since the 1990s. And the palpable absence of the animals left a hole in the health and harmony of its Chippewa Cree residents.

"The buffalo is one of the main dudes in our biggest ceremony. We offer ourselves to him in that setting," said Jason Belcourt, Rocky Boy Sustainability Coordinator, and head of the Rocky Boy Buffalo Project. "When we have that ceremony, I look around and there's no buffalo. How can we have a ceremony if there's no buffalo? Are our prayers even being heard?"

Rocky Boy is getting a major dose of buffalo medicine via the arrival of 11 animals supplied by the American Prairie Reserve and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation (CSKT). The new residents will occupy 1200 acres surrounded by 7.1 miles of fencing.


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