End Buffalo Slaughter Say Native Americans (Video)

The Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council is invoking its trust responsibility to try to get Montana and the U.S. government to protect wild buffalo.

The last wild buffalo live in Yellowstone National Park. Heavy snows will force them to lower elevations beyond park boundaries to forage. They seasonally migrate, as do elk, into parts of southwestern Montana.

They are being 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.

According to the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), 6,927 buffalo have been slaughtered since 1985. Usually they are hazed but, in a first, 27 were rounded up and trucked back to Yellowstone at the end of May. BFC say that the last hazing of the buffalo included stampeding them through housing areas, disrupting wildlife and shooting paintballs in the butt of a bull buffalo (see video).

BFC say that no cattle are in the wild buffalo winter range and no one is slaughtering elk, even though they also carry the disease.

James (Jimmy) St. Goddard, hereditary chief of the Blackfeet Nations, said:

Montana’s ranchers and farmers, they’re all Republican. Nobody wants to stand up to them. There’s so much they don’t understand about our culture.

In March, 63 bison from Yellowstone National Park were relocated to the Fort Peck reservation in northern Montana, but a livestock and property rights collective immediately sued and further transfers have been stopped.

According to Montana’s governor, Brian Schweitzer, the collective behind the lawsuit just wants “the cheap grass” on public land.

The lawsuit has also halted plans to move bison to other public and tribal lands, including Fort Belknap in Montana and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where they would populate America’s first tribal park.

Tribes deliberately rounded up the last remaining wild buffalo to save them after 30 million were slaughtered in the 19th century. Yellowstone’s 3,500 are the last with no cattle genes and a migration instinct.

St. Goddard said; “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, first with a letter to Schweitzer asking him to stop harassment of buffalo.

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:

Related stories:

Should Bison Be The ‘National Mammal’ of the US?

Sacred White Buffalo Killed, Skinned

Annual Hunt Allowed Despite Declining Moose Population

Picture by oregon ducatisti


Phyl M.
Dai M4 years ago

Our wild bison must be protected. Becoming a national mammal would hopefully protect them from the endless hazing by our government & their eventual slaughter...courtesy of taxpayer money.

Sandi C.
Sandi C4 years ago

I agree. the white man killed for sport.

obsidian c.
dee crow4 years ago

I first saw a wild buffalo when I was camping in Custard National Park in the 80's. I was so
awed by the stature of this animal. I was standing about 5 feet from a buffalo who wandered
into the camp to check me out. I was staking my tent and I felt the ground quiver and I turned
around and there stood the buffalo. I stood up slowly and we just looked at one another. I didn't have any fear because I didn't know they were "dangerous". Since I had none, neither did the buffalo. I was awed by the way the horns are weaved into the head which is massive. It was summer and the buffalo coat was uneven and wild. I am 5ft 4 and we were almost eye
to eye but the buffalo neck and back hump added quite a bit of height to mine. I could see
campers in my peripheral moving carefully away. I was so awed by this animal's magnificence
and presence. After a minute or maybe less, the buffalo let out a snort, shook its head and
walked away. Even a buffalo snort is like thunder. It was an encounter I will always treasure.
I feel very grieved by the cruelty of the white man toward the buffalo and the disrespect shown
to Native Americans in desecrating the animal that has given them so much. I find it horrific
that a lot of the buffalo hazing is due to free government grass land rights which the white
farmers want for their cattle. This country has a pathetic mentality of wanting to pay migrants to pick fruit and vegetables, etc. at a low wage to boost their coffers--kill wolves to save t

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago

It's never ending isn't it? A species starts to make a comeback and becomes inconvenient so they are killed. I guess one could look at the bright side - at least they won't die a horrible death after being poisoned by chemicals, or dying of thirst after the fracking destroys the water sources....

Kari J.
Kari J4 years ago

Nice to see the First Nation man talk about the Sacred Buffalo. May these beings be protected!

katarzyna phillips

if the tribal leaders are wanting this, then it should happen. they have much more awareness of how everything links up together and things happen for a reason than most of america put together!

Joya Ghose
Joya Ghose4 years ago

The petition is here:

Sheila Lysohirka
Sheila Lysohirka4 years ago

Where is the petition so all concerned can stand united against the greed and help protect these beautiful animals?

Cynthia Blais
cynthia l5 years ago

where's the petition? to help our brothers get this done

Cynthia Blais
cynthia l5 years ago

I support this! Hey they had enough insight to put them on nickels why not make bison our national animal with respect like the eagle? An offer of respect to Native Americans who respected this majestic animal.