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Blackfeet Nation celebrates the return of wild bison

Lauren Monroe Jr. / Blackfeet Tribal Business Council
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jun 29, 2023

The Blackfeet Nation celebrated the release of a herd of bison into the wild near Babb in the northeast portion of Glacier County on June 26, 2023, marking the first time that bison have roamed this sprawling landscape since 1873.

Blackfeet Nation celebrates the return of wild bison

The two dozen bison released on Monday are direct descendants of those that resided on these lands 150 years ago.

Lauren Monroe, Jr., a member of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, posted on Facebook:

Blackfeet made a huge leap in tribal sovereignty and self-determination by releasing wild bison back into the Chief Mountain landscape. Its been well over 100 years since the miistakis (backbone of the world) held innii (buffalo). Blackfeet will eventually harvest them as part of herd management. A lot of partners and many tribal members have been pushing for years, and today it's a reality. I'm proud of the leadership I serve with and glad to work with those that take action.

The Ninnistaakoo (Chief Mountain) area, where the bison now roam freely, lies where the Rocky Mountains meet the American Prairie in a sacred area known to Blackfeet as Mistaaksis — the Backbone of the World.

According to GlacierCountyMT, the Blackfeet Nation currently has about 800 bison in its herd, which roams 10,000+ acres in the southeast end of the Blackfeet Reservation.