For the Love of the Buffalo
November 16, 2022
Covering topics from policy and history to spirituality and modern day symbolism, author Chase Reynolds Ewald spent hours on zoom calls interviewing scientists, historians and Indigenous people for the book.
“As population levels of bison rise, people are coming into contact with them more. I think there’s an appreciation for bison, but I’m not entirely sure how many people have a recognition of the history of our interaction with them and why there’s so few left compared to the unbelievable number there were before,” he said. “It’s such an important story and I’m not sure how many of our high school textbooks are covering it these days,” he said.
Before the nineteenth century, buffalo roamed across North America’s Great Plains with an estimated population of 30 to 100 million. They were a critical component to the way of life for many Native American tribes and nations. In acts of genocide against American Indigenous peoples, the U.S. government slaughtered bison to eliminate a source of food, clothing and shelter from Plains Indians.